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  • Protecting Damara Terns Sterna balaenarum from recreational disturbance in the Namib Desert increases breeding density and overall success.

    Author(s) : Braby, J.Braby, R. J.Braby, N.Simmons, R. E.

    Journal article : Ostrich 2009 Vol.80 No.2 pp.71-75

    Abstract : Because resources and funds available for the conservation management of many threatened species are limited, it is important to determine the effectiveness of different conservation measures aimed at protecting threatened species. The globally Near Threatened Damara Tern Sterna balaenarum breeds on anthropogenically disturbed beaches on the central coast of Namibia. We assessed the effectiveness of conservation measures on the breeding numbers, densities and success of Damara Terns in a loose colony among small barchan dunes on the central Namibian coast. Nests were monitored daily during the 2001/02 and 2002/03 breeding seasons. Information notices were erected during the 2001/02 breeding season and vehicle access was restricted to prevent human disturbance in the colony during the 2002/03 season. Nest numbers and density doubled in the second season, but breeding success decreased significantly from 83% to 67%. This unexpected result probably arose from increased densities attracting more predators. Despite this decrease the protection measures increased the number of chicks hatching from the area by 71%. In conjunction with two previous studies of protection from off-road vehicles we conclude that Damara Terns benefit from reduced disturbance and prefer to nest on undisturbed beaches.

    ISSN : 0030-6525

    DOI : 10.2989/OSTRICH.2009.80.2.1.828

    Record Number : 20093251524

    Publisher : NISC Pty Ltd

    Location of publication : Grahamstown

    Country of publication : South Africa

    Language of text : English

    Language of summary : English

    Indexing terms for this abstract:

    Organism descriptor(s) : Sterna, Sterna balaenarum

    Descriptor(s) : animal ecology, arid lands, endangered species, Namib Desert, wild animals, wildlife conservation, wildlife management

    Identifier(s) : South West Africa, subsaharan Africa, threatened species

    Geographical Location(s) : Africa South of Sahara, Namibia

    Broader term(s) : Southern Africa, Africa South of Sahara, Africa, Laridae, Charadriiformes, birds, vertebrates, Chordata, animals, eukaryotes, Sterna, Anglophone Africa, Commonwealth of Nations, Developing Countries