Distribution, density, and important hotspots of Krüper?s Nuthatch Sitta krueperi in Turkey and Lesvos Island, Greece


Abstract: Atlas projects and phylogeographic studies provide detailed information of great value on key species; distribution maps of the species are the primary input for establishing hotspots, conservation, and management plans. Krüper's Nuthatch (Sitta krueperi) is endemic to Anatolia, Lesvos Island, and the Caucasus region. We surveyed more than 1400 point counts in Turkey and Greece, covering most of its global distribution in its potential habitat, coniferous forestland, during the breeding season. The geographical information system was used for preparing the distribution maps and depicting the hotspots for Krüper?s Nuthatch. The population density of Krüper?s Nuthatch in all of Turkey was 10.25 ± 0.33 birds km$^{-2}$, which was significantly higher than on Lesvos Island (1.94 ± 0.79 birds km$^{-2}$) (P < 0.001). We found a negative correlation between the population density of the species and longitude. These results showed that the western part of the study area had higher densities than the eastern part. In conclusion, we recommend that the Beydağları Mountains and the Aladağlar Mountains in southern Turkey, and the Ilgaz Mountains and/or Kartalkaya Mountains in northern Turkey should be considered hotspots and preserved for the conservation of the species. Furthermore, the Beydağları Mountains should be considered as an Important Bird Area for Krüper's Nuthatch due to high population density and genetic diversity.

Keywords: hotspots, density, distribution, conservation

Full Text: PDF