Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna pacifica) nesting success in human-dominated coastal environments.

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From: PeerJ(Vol. 9)
Publisher: PeerJ. Ltd.
Document Type: Report
Length: 7,866 words
Lexile Measure: 1500L

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Abstract :

Many seabird populations are declining globally, but successful conservation efforts have led to population expansion of some species into human-dominated landscapes. Thus, there is an increased potential for direct human and seabird interactions for certain species in human-occupied areas, with nest-site characteristics potentially affecting the susceptibility of nests to human disturbance. We assessed the effect of human activity and nest-site characteristics on Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna pacifica, ʻuaʻu kani) nesting success at two breeding colonies, one with human exposure and one without, located in Kailua, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi. Human activity was measured by recording the frequency of people who entered a 5 m buffer around each nest. Nests were checked every two to three days to monitor nest success. The effect of human activity and nest-site characteristics on nesting success was determined using a variety of combinations of variables within binomial logistic regression models and AICc model selection. Nest-site characteristics among nests at both sites and human activity at the human-exposed site did not show a significant effect on nesting success. Our results suggest Wedge-tailed Shearwaters may experience some tolerance of human activity immediately around their nests-as long as burrow collapse does not occur. Given the small sample sizes and a single season of data collection, additional studies are needed to better understand the effect of human disturbance on Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. Infrastructure, such as fencing and signage, may be effective at reducing human-caused nest failure and may allow humans and disturbance-tolerant seabird species to coexist in shared coastal environments.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A673681079