József Gyurácz, Gábor Horváth, Tibor Csörgõ, László Bank and Sándor Palkó
Influence of macrosynoptic weather situation on the autumn migration of birds in Hungary
In the study we have examined the relation between the European macrosynoptic weather situation and the number of birds captured a day at four Hungarian ringing stations during the autumn migration. Along the research we examined the data of 32 809 individuals of 8 species using different migration strategies. Using the daily capture data at the four stations we constructed the migration diagrams for each year. We chose the migration peak days within ten-day periods and examined how these peak days or their preceding days are distributed over Péczely's macrosynoptic weather situations. Comparing the 8 bird species no significant difference in distribution of the peak days over the macrosynoptic weather situations was found (ANOVA: F7,376 = 1.81, p = 0.084). 85% of the migration peak days for all the species were connected with anticyclones, 10% with meridional cyclone / cold front situation and 5% with other cyclonic ones. The most frequent weather situation on the migration peak days was central anticyclone, which occurred in 61 cases.
Péter Apor, Sándor Horváth, Tamás Scheibner and Éva Kovács
This article describes the concepts and approaches to Cultural Opposition used by the COURAGE project (funded by the European Commission within the Horizon 2020 programme). It examines how can the legacy of Cultural Opposition be analyzed from the perspective of the cultural heritage and collections and what are the promises of the Cultural Opposition term for the emergence of new possibilities in the historiography of the Communist Era. This article argues that the use of cultural heritage of the socialist Cultural Opposition is strongly linked to the history and trajectory of the Cultural Opposition collections, and that the analysis of the collections story offers a clearer understanding of the post-communist transformation from a different point of view.
Balint Horvath, Maria Borocz, Sandor Zsarnoczai and Csaba Fogarassy
Natural gas is still the primary input of the Hungarian heating and cooling systems, therefore it still makes most of the overheads. One of the main obstacles of a competitive district heating system is the public opinion which still considers this service more expensive than the traditional heating forms. According to the absolute numbers this assumption might be valid but from a more accurate economic perspective, heat production has more aspects to stress. Most people forget about the simple fact that the maintenance costs of natural gas based systems are rather outsourced to the consumer than in the case of district heating. Furthermore, the uneven rate of the fixed and variable costs of this technology does not prove to be optimal for service developments. Investigating the future tendencies highlight that encouraging the efficiency improvement of district heating and the spread of technological innovation in the sector does not belong to the top priorities. Still, avoiding this problem it could lead serious deadweight losses in the case of the heating sector.
Péter Fehérvári, Imre Sándor Piross, László Kotymán, Szabolcs Solt, Éva Horváth and Péter Palatitz
Selecting a suitable breeding habitats and a nest-site within are crucial decisions birds have to make. Free ranging solitary Kestrels may use public information derived from leftover pellets and prey remnants from previous conspecific breeding attempts to assess location quality. However, this information may also indicate potentially higher nestling ectoparasite load. In colonies where habitat quality is similar for all available nests, the only information of previous nest usage may reflect expected future parasite pressure. In this study we explored whether Kestrels, Red-footed Falcons and Jackdaws rely on nest-material consisting of pellets and prey remnants when choosing a nest in a multi species artificial colony system. We also assessed potential effects of these decisions on reproductive success. We randomly selected and cleaned half (n=102) of all available nest-boxes in each of the studied 4 colonies before the breeding season. We then monitored occupancy, egg-laying date, hatching and fledging success. In case of Red-footed Falcons, we also acquired adult age and nestling condition data. Our results show that Kestrels were more likely to breed in uncleaned nest-boxes, however, eggs laid in cleaned nest-boxes were more likely to develop into fledged nestlings. There was a weak indication that lower hatching rate was responsible for this effect, rather than increased parasite load. Nest box cleaning had no effect on measured variables in case of Red-footed Falcons and Jackdaws. Colonial breeding of Kestrels, the only species to react to nest-box cleaning, is rare and is probably a consequence of extreme nest-site shortage in our study site. We conclude that Kestrels are not adapted to interpret the information carried by pellets and prey-remnants in colony nest-boxes.
Éva Horváth, Szabolcs Solt, László Kotymán, Péter Palatitz, Imre Sándor Piross and Péter Fehérvári
Active conservation measures often entail supplementing scarce resources, such as food or nesting site to high conservation value species. We hypothesized that adequate nest material in reasonable distance is a scarce resource for Rooks breeding in open grassland habitats of Hungary. Here we show that Rooks willingly utilize large quantities of provided excess nesting material, and that this procedure may alter nest composition, and increase the number of successful pairs. Our results show that while nest height remains constant, twig diameter is significantly larger, the number of twigs used per nest is presumably smaller, and that the ratio of nests with fledglings is higher in a rookery where supplementary twigs were present. Providing twigs and branches in the vicinity of rookeries may serve as an active conservation measure to increase the number of nests in a rookery, and thus the potential number of nesting possibilities for Red-footed Falcons.
Sándor András Boldogh, Tamás Visnyovszky, Zsolt Szegedi, Béla Habarics, Róbert Horváth, Cecília Krajnyák and Szabolcs Lengyel
The Corncrake is a threatened umbrella species for wet meadows, which mostly depends on managed grasslands. Therefore, effective conservation requires bird-friendly land management schemes and subsidies. Although the most important populations in Hungary usually breed in protected areas, some of these are regularly flooded, which forces Corncrakes to find breeding sites elsewhere. Such movements from protected/subsidised areas to suboptimal sites have risks for Corncrake populations and their conservation. Here, we describe a large-scale dynamic system of interlinked populations based on data from 4194 Corncrake territories found at four different sites (Aggtelek, Bodrogzug, Szatmár-Bereg and Zemplén regions) across eight years between 1997 and 2006 in NE Hungary (c. 1500 km2). The results showed that the total population fluctuated between 407 and 631 pairs and that the populations were more-or-less stable in the first four years (1997–2000). However, extended floods caused the disappearance of the species from the Bodrogzug region in 2005–2006, while in the other sites, the number of territories increased five-fold (Zemplén), three-fold (Aggtelek) and two-fold (Szatmár-Bereg). The correlation between the number of territories and maximum water level of river Tisza in April-May was negative in the Bodrogzug site and positive in the three other sites, indicating that interlinkages of the populations were associated with water levels. Our data thus support the hypothesis that many of the birds driven out by inundation of floodplain meadows moved to other sites in NE Hungary in flood years. These results suggest that even large, centrally located populations of Corncrake can be greatly exposed to risks of flooding and that it is highly important to maintain suitable alternative breeding sites for the species. The High Natural Value Areas programme may allow administrative and funding support to provide or extend protection and/or subsidies to maintain this large-scale dynamic system. To this end, the area managed in bird-friendly ways and subsidised under agri-environmental schemes was extended by 35,000 hectares in NE Hungary in 2009.
Imre Sándor Piross, Péter Fehérvári, Zoltán Vas, Szabolcs Solt, Éva Horváth, Péter Palatitz, Cristina Giosele, Marco Gustin, Mario Pedrelli, R. Suresh Kumar, Nick P. Williams, Rina Pretorious, Zephne Bernitz, Herman Bernitz and Andrea Harnos
Little is known about the louse species harboured by Red-footed and Amur Falcons despite the fact that various life-history traits of these hosts make them good model species to study host-parasite interactions. We collected lice samples from fully grown Amur (n=20) and Red-footed Falcons (n=59), and from nestlings of Red-footed Falcons (n=179) in four countries: Hungary, India, Italy and South Africa. We identified 3 louse species on both host species, namely Degeeriella rufa, Colpocephalum subzerafae and Laembothrion tinnunculi. The latter species has never been found on these hosts. Comparing population parameters of lice between hosts we found significantly higher prevalence levels of D. rufa and C. subzerafae on Amur Falcons. Adult Red-footed Falcons had higher D. rufa prevalence compared to C. subzerafae. For the first time we also show inter-annual shift in prevalence and intensity levels of these species on Red-footed Falcons; in 2012 on adult hosts C. subzerafae had higher intensity levels than D. rufa, however in 2014 D. rufa had significantly higher intensity compared to C. subzerafae. In case of nestlings both louse species had significantly higher preva lence levels than in 2014. The exact causes of such inter-annual shifts are yet to be understood.