Key threats are increased habitat fragmentation and habitat loss due to agricultural intensification, which has the potential to increase following land privatisation in eastern Europe5 and is occurring in China4. Habitat loss and fragmentation continues as a result of ploughing of grasslands, intensive grazing, afforestation and increasing development of irrigation schemes, roads, power-lines, fencing and ditches. Mechanisation, chemical fertilisers and pesticides, fire and predation all contribute to high mortality in eggs, chicks and juveniles. Hunting is a major threat in Morocco, Syria, Turkey, Ukraine and China2,4,6 and collision with overhead power lines is another significant threat8.
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