Long term monitoring of selected nocturnal species

As part of Ramat Hanadiv’s LTER monitoring program, nocturnal predators and night birds are monitored on a routinely basis from 2010.
The survey is aimed at (1) monitoring population sizes and spatial and temporal dynamics of nocturnal predators and (2) monitoring the diversity and activity of different night birds in Ramat Hanadiv Nature Park.

The survey is conducted twice a month (new moon & full moon, +/-2 days), all year long, with a vehicle (at a velocity of ca. 8km/h) and hand-held flashlight, along a 12,142 m transect which samples most of the conditions that might affect the spatial distribution of these species. Observations of gazelles, roe deer and chukars (either their presence or their roosting sites) are recorded as well, as species of special importance.
Survey starts with sunset, at weather conditions as comparable as possible (excluding extreme weather events). It starts at the north side of the park, and follows a general southwards direction. The surveyor drives a car with a flashlight in his left hand, and scans the field of view ahead of him and to his left. Once an individual or group from one of the focal species is observed, its location is recorded with a GPS device, together with additional data, listed below. After the surveyor reaches the end of the route, he turns around and drives the same route northwards, omitting two loops that are only surveyed on the way south (see map below).
Data are recorded using ArcGIS Online platform. All observations are geo-referenced and the following parameters are documented: Date; observer name; survey start time; survey end time; observation time; weather conditions; species name; number of individuals; sex/age (whenever possible); remarks.

A list of the species recorded:

Mammals
Birds
Badger
Barn Owl
Cat
Chukar roost
Dog
Eagle Owl
Fox
Little Owl
Hedgehog
Long Eared Owl
Jackal
Night jar
Stone marten
Scops owl
Porcupine
Stone Curlew

Tawny owl






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