Breeding population and distribution of the Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) in Italy

SCARTON F., VALLE R., BORELLA S., VETTOREL M. and UTMAR P.

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Abstract:

The whole Italian population of Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus) breeds along the north-east coastline; 36 pairs were censused in 1991 and 42 in 1992. They are mostly restricted to the barrier islands of Po Delta and to the lagoon of Grado-Marano. In the favourable breeding areas, a mean density of 1.92 (1991) and 1.84 (1992) pairs per km was recorded, with a minimum distance between nests of 45 m. Nest site fidelity in the years 1991-1992 was 58.3%. Over the last ten years the ltalian breeding population, one of the most important of the Mediterranean area, has shown irregular fluctuations.