Capsule: Dead Sea Sparrows Passer moabiticus transferred their historical breeding colony location, following geo-ecological and hydrological changes, to a new, less arid zone within a nature reserve. Aims: To find biotic and abiotic factors affecting the choice of nest sites by Dead Sea Sparrows, in order to locate potential breeding areas and plan in advance for their protection. Methods: Mapping old and new nest sites of Dead Sea Sparrows within Einot Tzukim nature reserve, Dead Sea Valley, and using anthropogenic and geo-ecological GIS layers, we created a map of the potential preferred breeding colony area. Results: We found the biotic and abiotic factors affecting nest site preference of Dead Sea Sparrows, which included areas far from human activity, areas close to historic springs, and areas affected by a major fire. New areas in the reserve exposed by the retreating Dead Sea were inhabited by the birds, which gradually transferred their breeding centre to a less arid zone within the reserve. Conclusion: When managing colonial breeding sites, it is crucial to understand the role of both natural and anthropogenic influences in order to prioritize sites for conservation and management. Producing a preference map, based on such data, can help managers locate potential breeding areas and plan in advance for their protection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Nature and Landscape Conservation