Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Assessing the effects of human activities on the foraging opportunities of migratory shorebirds in Austral high-latitude bays

Citation

Navedo, Juan G. et al. (2019), Data from: Assessing the effects of human activities on the foraging opportunities of migratory shorebirds in Austral high-latitude bays, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.p0q053s

Abstract

Human presence at intertidal areas could impact coastal biodiversity, including migratory waterbird species and the ecosystem services they provide. Assessing this impact is therefore essential to develop management measures compatible with migratory processes and associated biodiversity. Here, we assess the effects of human presence on the foraging opportunities of Hudsonian godwits (Limosa haemastica, a trans-hemispheric migratory shorebird) during their non-breeding season on Chiloé Island, southern Chile. We compared bird density and time spent foraging in two similar bays with contrasting disturbance levels: human presence (mostly seaweed harvesters accompanied by dogs) was on average 0.9±0.4 people per 10 ha in the disturbed bay, whereas it was negligible (95% days absent) in the non-disturbed bay. Although overall abundances were similar between bays, godwit density was higher in the non-disturbed bay throughout the low tide period. Both days after the start of the non-breeding season and tidal height significantly affected godwit density, with different effects in either bay. Time spent foraging was significantly higher in the non-disturbed bay (86.5±1.1%) than in the disturbed one (81.3±1.4%). As expected, godwit density significantly decreased with the number of people and accompanying dogs in the disturbed bay. Our results indicate that even a low density of people and dogs can significantly reduce the foraging opportunities of shorebirds. These constraints, coupled with additional flushing costs, may negatively affect godwits’ pre-migratory fattening. Hence, as a first step we suggest limiting human presence within bays on Chiloé to 1 person per 10 ha and banning the presence of accompanying dogs in sensitive conservation areas.

Usage Notes

Location

South America