Structural characteristics of Wood Warbler habitats in Switzerland: an analysis with remote sensing methods
Huber, N., 2013: Structural characteristics of Wood Warbler habitats in Switzerland: an analysis with remote sensing methods. Master thesis. 54 p.
Huber, N., 2013: Structural characteristics of Wood Warbler habitats in Switzerland: an analysis with remote sensing methods. Masterarbeit geleitet von Gilberto Pasinelli, Vogelwarte Sempach, Christian Ginzler, Felix Kienast, WSL. D-USYS, ETH Zürich.
In Western Europe, Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix) populations have declined in the last three decades. In Switzerland, the species has been classified as vulnerable in the red list of the breeding birds and is one of the 50 priority species of the Swiss species recovery program.
Remote Sensing methods were used to 1) achieve an increased understanding of the structural habitat needs and to 2) identify potentially suitable habitats in the Swiss Jura Mountains and the Swiss Plateau.
The results suggest that Wood Warblers prefer rather uniform forests stands of intermediate age. Furthermore, occurrence is positively related to inclination and solar radiation during March. According to the predictive models, the current potential range is predominantly located in the Swiss Jura Mountains.
Forest management may locally contribute to the deterioration of suitable areas, for example when relatively closed forests are opened up due to harvesting. Therefore, the focus of forest management at a regional scale should be on sustainable regeneration so that sufficiently large suitable stands are always present and new suitable stands are steadily developing. Femel harvesting system (Femelschlag), leading to a relatively homogeneous stand age structure, appears to be most appropriate to maintain structurally suitable stands for Wood Warblers.