Understanding the relationship between population dynamics and landscape connectivity is crucial for effective conservation and management of wildlife. In this study, graph-theoretical measures of landscape connectivity were employed to identify the relationship between the nest distribution of the black-billed magpies (Pica pica) and well connected habitat patches. Habitat patches were determined based on the probability of magpie nest occurrence using a logistic model. Connectivity was estimated by Euclidean distance between habitat patches. A randomization procedure was implemented to verify nest distribution’s association with clusters of habitat patches measured at multiple spatial scales.
The distribution of magpie nests is closely related to the forest edge at the patch level. At the landscape level, nest locations were highly related to large clusters of forest patches over the threshold distance of 12 m, and to large clusters of grass patches in the most threshold distances. In addition, the nests in forest patches were close to grass patches with high betweenness. However, in both forest and grass patches, the sizes of habitat clusters adjacent to nests were much lower than the average sizes of total habitat clusters across most scales, indicating that there exist anthropogenic factors affecting the distribution of magpie nests. Our results suggest that the distribution of magpie nests is related to landscape connectivity and can be explained more effectively by taking into account the anthropogenic factors.