Breeding success (fledglings pair-1 y-1) of the Red-listed African Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus moquini) is highly variable, both spatially and temporally. Despite a diversity of natural factors causing this variability, there is evidence that two anthropogenic factors, i.e. disturbance and an introduced mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis), are having an impact on the local breeding success of this species. Using a data set comprising 87 site-years of nest-monitoring data across most of the species' breeding range, we analysed the extent and causes of variability in breeding success. Breeding success differed across three population categories defined by varying levels of human disturbance: island populations, protected mainland populations, and unprotected mainland populations. Differences in breeding success between island populations and protected mainland populations were likely due to differing exposure to predators; however, differences between protected and unprotected mainland populations were unlikely caused by this as both experience equivalent predation levels (although from different predators). Protection only improved the breeding success of oystercatchers in very high-quality habitats (with a high biomass of alien mussels), and where populations were ‘released’ from high levels of human disturbance. In unprotected mainland areas, human activity impacted on the breeding success of local populations primarily through predation of small chicks by uncontrolled dogs, and by rising tides drowning chicks that were hiding from human disturbance. The findings of this study note the potential conservation dilemma resulting from an invasive species improving the conservation status of a Red-listed species, and encourage the implementation of restricted sites in high-quality habitats with high breeding pair densities.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 51 • No. 4