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1 July 2003 Evidence that human disturbance reduces Snowy Plover chick survival
Tamiko D. Ruhlen, Sue Abbott, Lynne E. Stenzel, Gary W. Page
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Abstract

Disturbance from human recreation may impact vulnerable life stages of beach-nesting plovers (Charadrius spp.). Although human recreation may decrease hatching success of Snowy Plovers (C. alexandrinus), we are unaware of any studies indicating an impact on chick survival. We tested whether the rate of chick loss in a breeding population of Snowy Plovers was lower on weekdays than on weekends and holidays, when beach visitation increases in most coastal areas. We used data collected on chick survival and the timing of chick loss in 1999 and 2000 at Point Reyes National Seashore, California. Observed weekend and holiday chick loss was 72% greater than expected in 1999 and 69% greater than expected in 2000. This suggests that increased human recreation on Point Reyes beaches over weekends and holidays negatively affected Snowy Plover chick survival.

Tamiko D. Ruhlen, Sue Abbott, Lynne E. Stenzel, and Gary W. Page "Evidence that human disturbance reduces Snowy Plover chick survival," Journal of Field Ornithology 74(3), 300-304, (1 July 2003). https://doi.org/10.1648/0273-8570-74.3.300
Received: 22 May 2002; Accepted: 1 December 2002; Published: 1 July 2003
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KEYWORDS
Beaches
Charadrius alexandrinus
chick survival
human disturbance
shorebird
Snowy Plover
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