Seabird Abstracts

Modeling the Effects of Limiting the Number of Visitors on

Failure Rates of Seabird Nests

Beale CM, & Monaghan P (2005) Conservation Biol. 19(6):2015-2019

Most attempts to manage disturbance by visitors to nature reserves concentrate on limiting visitor access in some way, which is often unpopular with both visitors and managers. In a few nature reserves the daily numbers of visitors are limited, an action that need not necessarily reduce the total number of visitors. As a test of the assumptions that underlie this management practice, we examined the relationship between daily visitor numbers and daily failure rates of nests in two species of seabirds. Daily failure rates for Black-legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla) were weakly correlated with daily visitor numbers but indicated that capping daily visitor numbers slightly reduced overall breeding success. This was not the case for Common Murres (Uria aalge), where failure rate declined seasonally but was not significantly correlated with visitor numbers. For some species, it appears that capping daily visitor numbers may have small conservation costs.


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