Decreasing habitat

 

At the end of the 19th century large dune- and heath areas of Bosland were forested due to the increasing mining activities. Today the area covered by forests mainly consists of pinewood (91%), with Corsican pine Pinus nigra var corsicana (59%) and Scots pine Pinus sylvestris (35%) as dominant species. The fragments with the highest ecological value in Bosland consist of heath-, inland dune- and grassy areas. Together with national- and European protected species they are the last witnesses of the former vast heath landscape in the northern part of Limburg. To ensure long term survival of these ecological values, the development of a network with open habitats, based upon scientific knowledge, is high priority on the Boland agenda.

As a result of this radiotelemetry research we found that the homerange of Nightjars is many times lager than previously estimated. We found an average surfacearea of 100ha per individual, keeping in mind that the estimation method we used underestimates the total area used. Comparing with previous estimates (5ha), not based on radiotelemetry, our findings bring new insights in area usage by Nightjars. Another remarkable result is given by the forageareas. Nightjars seem to look for food in areas with extensive farmlands and rivervalleys, morge than 3km from their sleeping- or breading sites. These results have important implications for Nightjar-management.