Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 42/1-2 | 2005 | 23-32

  Effects of disturbances on waterbirds in Summer in the Somme Estuary Nature Reserve
Flamant, N., Benhini, C., Sueur, F. & Triplet, P.

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Article summary

The Somme Estuary Nature Reserve is visited by tourists mainly during the Summer period. Walkers are responsible for almost half of the disturbances. To evaluate the effects of people presence on birds, we measured the activity rhythm of representative species : Shelduck Tadorna tadorna, Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus, Curlew Numenis arquata and Dunlin Calidris alpina. Following the nature of the disturbance, birds seem to react differently. However, a common response leading to a change in behaviour is noted. Desertion and vigilance are the main reactions to disturbance. Two methods were used to quantify loss of feeding time. According to species, deficits in feeding time are different, highlighting distinct answers according to disturbance causes and to specific tolerances and needs.

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