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Breeding Seabirds inthe Northern Red Sea of Saudi Arabia Abdulhadi A. Aloufi
What are seabirds?The birds inhabit the marine environment in a direct or indirect way, and spend mostof their life in the sea.The real seabirds:This category depend completely on marine environment, they get their food from thesea, nesting and live near the sea such as; Brown Booby, gulls and Terns.Other seabirds: they called water birds, they can be found originally in spring water environments, butthey use marine environments (sandy beaches, tidal flats and mangrove environments),they depend on them for food or nesting, such as Ardeidae, Crap plover, swans, andSpoonbill. 1 of 24
Methodology:2 The number of breeding pairs was estimated using three methods: 1. The vantage points. 2. Flush counts. 3. Walk-through count, and quadrates . 7 of 24
The vantage pointsThe vantage points were used at onecliff island of Al Awandiah, and partlyaround Rekah in which the boat orthe higher spot were used as vantagepoint to count breeding brownboobies and sooty gull in cliffs. 8 of 24
The flush count• The flush count were carried out with the majority of incubating nesting seabirds on sandy islands (as on approach by a human they rise up reasonably synchronously and fly around above the colony in a relatively compact flock).• This method was used commonly with the White- cheeked tern and Bridled Terns. 10 of 24
The walk-though count method• The walk-though count method was used for the white cheeked terns, bridled terns and at the small colony of lesser crested tern. Finally, quadrates were used for lesser- crested tern nests.• A light weight frame of rigid wire measuring 1 x 1 m laid carefully down at different parts of the colony and average nest numbers were estimated and the number of breeding pairs was extrapolated to the whole area of the colony. 11 of 24
The breeding seasons• The breeding seasons were determined by compile our observations of eggs and nestlings size with documented incubations and fledging periods .• Eggs measurements were made by using a digital caliper and the location of each islands were recorded by using Garmen 12, GPS 12 of 24
Breeding Season• During the surveys 16 species were recorded at the surveyed islands; eight true seabirds, five water birds, two birds of prey and the terrestrial species, rock dove. 14 of 24
Table shows the total number of breeding pairs estimated at islands surveyed islands 15 of 24
The estimated range of breeding season of different species recorded during the study.BB= Brown Booby, SG= Sooty Gull, WYG= White-eyed Gull, WCT= White-cheeked Tern, BT= BridledTern, LCT= Leser-crested Tern, CT= Caspian Tern, SLT= Saunderss Tern, ST= Swift Tern , PH= PurpleHeron, WRH= Western Reef Heron, StH= Striated Heron, KP= Kentish Plover, CP= Crap Plover, OsP=Osprey, SF= Sooty Falcon. 16 of 24
Seabirds and mankind: A balancing point 21 of 24
Seabirds and mankind1. The expansion of the tourist industry and the building resorts on islands and beaches2. Pollution3. The frequent visits of humans to the birds breeding and nesting areas4. Collecting eggs by some fishermen or locals5. Bringing cats, dogs and other predators to birds nesting places 22 of 24
Recommendations1. Conserve and protect the islands which are haven and nesting places for seabirds.2. Protect seabirds by prevent hunting and the eggs and chicks of the birds.3. Awareness: by alerting citizens and fishermen not to access the birds4. Conduct further researches and studies about the current situation, biological and environmental aspects of the seabirds in Tabuk region.5. There is an urgent need to develop a management plan for the islands and mangrove environments in order to protect the main seabirds nesting areas 23 of 24