First results on effects of wildlife baiting sites on predation of ground nests
We have the first results on effects of wildlife baiting sites on predation of artificial ground nests within the project area of LifeKočevsko. The aim was to examine potential increased predation of artificial ground nests containing two chicken eggs and one artificial polystyrene egg, in vicinity of wildlife baiting sites. We also wanted to estimate the distance from the baiting sites where the pradation levels are higher and examine predator species at different distances from the baiting sites. The maximum distance from baiting sites was 300 metres.
Our results showed that the level of predation of artificial grounds nests in vicinity of five baiting sites was quite high as 58% of nests were depredated. Intensity of predation did not subside within the 300 metres from the baiting sites. We expected the main predators to be wild boar which often feed at these sites. However, we were surprised as most of the ground nests were depredated by marten and a few by badgers. Camera-traps recorded presence of a large number of wild boar and bears which were not interested in or did not notice the ground nests.