Willi, T., F. Korner-Nievergelt & M. Grüebler
(* = Kurzbeitrag)
Rauchschwalben Hirundo rustica brauchen Nutztiere, Mehlschwalben Delichon urbicum Nisthilfen.
(von 1994 bis 2006 vergeben)
Population, Nest, Nestbau, Brut, Nahrung, Landwirtschaft
Hirundo rustica, Delichon urbicum
Schweiz, Luzern, Ettiswil
Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica need livestock, Common House Martins Delichon urbicum artifical nests. In the last decades, populations of Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica and Common House Martins Delichon urbicum have decreased in Europe. Among others, two important causes have been identified: decreasing numbers of cattle farms which produce aerial insects and loss of nest sites and nest construction material due to modernisation of farm buildings and agricultural driveways. We investigated whether the number and presence of livestock or artificial nests had an influence on the number of breeding pairs of Barn Swallows and House Martins in Ettiswil (canton of Lucerne). In 27 farms the number of breeding pairs of both swallow species was counted during the breeding season 2008. Additionally, farmers were asked for the number of livestock and the duration of livestock presence in the stable, and the artificial nests were counted.
In Barn Swallows, the number of breeding pairs was positively associated with the number of livestock animals and the duration of livestock presence in the stables, whereas in House Martins, solely the presence of artificial nests was important. The results emphasise the different ecological demands of the two species. For Barn Swallows the presence of livestock is important, because of the enhanced insect density and higher nest site temperature in stables inhabited by livestock compared to empty stables. The number of House Martin breeding pairs seems to be more dependent on the type and the presence of nest sites. Consequently, the study shows that artificial nests may be an important tool in the conservation of House Martin population, whereas for Barn Swallows habitat structures producing high insect densities need to be promoted. Further, this study emphasises the need for new measures and types of artificial nests that guarantee favourable microclimate for Barn Swallows in modern stable buildings and in the absence of livestock.
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