Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 25/1 | 1988 | 1-15

  First details on the winter feeding habits of the Black Grouse (Tetrao tetrix) in the Hautes Fagnes (Belgium).
Renard, F.

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Article summary

During the winter of 1986-1987, the feeding habits of the Black Grouse qere investigated in a zone chosen as sampling area on the Hautes Fagnes : Fagne Wallonne. At the beginning of winter, around forty males were distributed over the 570 hectares of the highest section of the Fagnes (580 to 690 meters). It is also one of the richest : eroded moorlands with Bilberry and Heather (Vaccinium myrtillus and V. uliginosum, Calluna aucuparia), thinly planted woods of Birch and Mountain Ash (Betula carpatica and Sorbus aucuparia), low-lying marshland, active peat-bog, Common Spruce forest (Picea abies). During this winter, the Black Grouse showed a distinct preference for the shoots of bilberry and the birch eatkins. These two aliments made up nearly 90 % in dry weight of their foodstuff. The catkins were eaten even when the shoots of bilberry were still accessible. As far as spruce was concerned, this was not eaten before mid_may. Measures to ensure protection and management of the habitat are being planned so as to guarantee a favourable milieu and a certain quietness for one of the last populations of Black Grouse in Belgium.

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