A Correlation Between Raptor Abundance And Dune Height

The results shown in this report demonstrate a powerful correlation between raptor abundance and dune peak and may therefore infer that it helps the hypothesis being examined.

A primary mechanism for why raptors use taller dunes could additionally be for environment friendly flight patterns. Previous literature has focused on avian scavengers and their physical morphologies, for the difference of hovering flight rather than flapping. They utilise sturdy winds (thermals) in high mountain ranges to assist in soaring patterns (Ruxton & Houston 2004). In addition to this, different kinds of raptors make use of orographic raise parts (Bohrer et al.

2012). A comparability can be made to the raptors recorded in this examine in that they exploit the upper dunes in the identical manner, to minimise energy costs.

Another mechanism that raptors use larger dunes is for nesting and perching sites. Previous observations of white-bellied sea eagles (Haliaeetus leucogaster) have recorded nests located high up inside tall bushes (18-28m). Thirty percent of nests have been recorded on the highest elevation between 31-100m (O’Donnell & Debus 2012).

Raptors documented in the present research may comply with the identical nest site selection while still being carefully located to their dietary assets. Higher dunes may also present bigger territory areas away from competitors. Moreover, higher dunes may show to be much less frequently inhabited by individuals, whereas smaller dunes might have camping and different recreation amenities. Previous research have identified that raptors have been heavily current on non-urban seashores compared to a significantly decreased presence on city seashores (Huijbers et al.

2015). Therefore, higher dunes primarily result in enhanced breeding success and overall survival.

Other essential literature has focused on coastal seabirds as conduits for improved terrestrial ecological productivity. Raptors can transport vitamins to the sand dunes by way of a number of channels similar to their excrement, moulting and their own carrion. This in flip can provide fertilisation for elevated vegetation which feeds detritivores and herbivores. Sequentially, this also fuels greater numbers of predators (e.g. lizards, spiders, birds) (S?nchez-Pi?ero & Polis 2000).

In regards to improvements of the examine design, higher definitions of human inhabited areas (such as entry points) are wanted, together with longer survey occasions to adequately identify each variable measured.

Consequently, this research supports the need that elevated dune habitat ought to be heavily protected and are identified as important nature reserves. There must be restrictions positioned on human use of these areas to positively influence the conservation of coastal keystone species such as raptors.

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