Increased landscape heterogeneity supports the conservation of European rollers (Coracias garrulus) in southern Hungary

Orsolya Kiss, Béla Tokody, Balázs Deák, C. Moskát

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7 Citations (Scopus)


European rollers (Coracias garrulus) were almost extinct from large parts of Hungary in the 1970-1980s. However up till now their population size increased considerably, mainly due to a nature conservation campaign, supplying artificial nest-boxes for breeding. We studied which factors affected rollers' occurrences at the landscape scale in southern Hungary, under natural circumstances and when artificial nest-boxes were supplied. We analyzed the composition and the configuration of the landscape at two spatial scales. We found that beside the presence of natural grasslands, heterogeneous landscape provided high quality breeding and hunting sites favorable for rollers. Even though habitat characteristics of roller territories with natural holes or nest-boxes were similar, breeding sites without artificial nest-boxes harbored higher coverage of forests and heterogeneous agricultural areas. Sites with occupied and unoccupied nest-boxes considerably overlapped, suggesting that the available habitats were not saturated. Nest-box supplementation proved to be an effective tool for rollers' conservation in areas where natural nesting sites were limited, but prey resources were available. Consequently, the preservation of landscape heterogeneity is a key factor which should be taken into consideration in the conservation management of roller populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-104
Number of pages8
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2016



  • Farmland birds
  • Landscape effects
  • Natural breeding
  • Nest site selection
  • Nest-boxes
  • Spatial scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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