Response of wader populations in the Vinogradovo Floodplain (Moscow Region, Russia) to changes in agricultural land use and spring flooding
136 – 142
1 September 16
Alexander L. Mischenko, Olga V. Sukhanova
Severtsov’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskiy Prospect, 33, Moscow 119071, Russia
We monitored the abundance of eight breeding wader species in the Vinogradovo Floodplain during 2002–2014 and compare our results with data from 1982– 1983 and 1995–1996. We describe the trends in agricultural land use in the region, as well as trends in the intensity of spring flooding, and relate these to fluctuations in the abundance of waders. The level and duration of spring floods is an important natural factor which can interact with changing land use and farming practices. We suggest that a strong reduction in the intensity of farming activities (up to full termination of grazing and ploughing) and a decrease in the intensity of floods at the end of the 20th century are the main factors influencing the abundance of waders. As a result of these changes, we observed catastrophic declines in the numbers of Ruﬀ Philomachus pugnax and Terek Sandpipers Xenus cinereus, and strong declines in the abundance of Northern Lapwings Vanellus vanellus and Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa. We observed variable numbers of Great Snipes Gallinago media and Marsh Sandpipers Tringa stagnatilis during 2002–2014, but no strong trends, and observed a slight increase in the abundance of Common Snipes G. gallinago. We discuss the reasons for changes in numbers of each species, in relation to environmental and land use change.