Treinys, R., Stončius, D., Augutis, D. and Skuja, S. 2009. Breeding Habitat of the Black Stork Ciconia nigra in Lithuania: Implications for Conservation Planning.  Baltic Forestry 15 (1): 33-40

A significant part of the European Black Stork population breeds in Lithuania. However, the preferences by this species for macrohabitat and microhabitat features have not been analysed statistically until now. In this study we analyzed field material collected in the last 8 years with the aim of establishing: 1) which habitat characteristics are preferred by the breeding Black Stork at macrohabitat and microhabitat scales and 2) which habitat features should be considered in the planning of Special Protected Areas for the Natura 2000 network aimed at protecting the species and the selection of set aside areas under the sustainable forestry schemes. At the macrohabitat scale Black Stork significantly preferred only dense hydrographical network. Preference for older, productive stands with greater share of broadleaved trees, nesting in forest interior and avoidance of proximity to water bodies and stands with grey alder are the most characteristic features of Black Stork microhabitat in Lithuania. A list of criteria to be used in selection of forest stands potentially suitable for Black Stork nesting was developed.

Key words: Ciconia nigra, habitat preferences, habitat use