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The impact of human disturbance on the breeding success of nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus on heathlands in south Dorset, England (ENRR483)

The breeding success of nightjars was compared on several sites in Dorset with varying levels of public access. Sites with no public access showed significantly higher breeding success than sites with open access. On sites with public access, territory centres and nest sites occurred at a distance from urban development. In addition, nests that did succeed were located at a distance from paths. The probability of nest survival was 12%, with the key cause of nest loss being predation. Results suggest a link between predation and disturbance. The results have been presented with recommendations for site management and further work.

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