Habitat use in Yellow-Iegged Gull(Larus cachinnans michahellis) coastal wetland coloniesof North-East Greece


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Yellow-Iegged Gull habitat use was studied at two colonies situated on lagoon islets (Lafri and Karatza) in North-East Greece. At the Lafri colony most nests (74.3070) were in high cover (>70%, overall average 78070). Sand dune and ruderal vegetation were avoided in preference for halophytic communities of Halocnemum strobilaceum (HS) and Halimione portulacoides - Arthrocnemum jruticosum (HP-AF); both were used in proportion to their availability. Both vegetation cover and type were important for nest placement and spacing. At the Karatza colony most nests (78.1 070) were in high cover (average 85 070). The most important plant communities were Asparagus tenuifolius (dominant) and HP-AF; both were used in proportion to their availability. In this colony vegetation cover seemed to be more important than vegetation type. This allowed a better breeding synchronization than at Lafri. Aspects of Yellow-Iegged Gull habitat use in the wider area are discussed.