Environmental determinants of greater flamingo foraging behaviour in an estuarine intertidal sandflat

 

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dc.contributor.advisor Pillay, Deena en_ZA
dc.contributor.author Liang, Andrea Yankee en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned 2015-05-04T07:14:05Z
dc.date.available 2015-05-04T07:14:05Z
dc.date.issued 2014 en_ZA
dc.identifier.citation Liang, A. 2014. Environmental determinants of greater flamingo foraging behaviour in an estuarine intertidal sandflat. University of Cape Town. en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/12725
dc.description Includes bibliographical references. en_ZA
dc.description.abstract The impact of flamingo predation on the benthic community has been well researched through the use of caging and exclusion experiments. However, there is still very little known about flamingo spatial foraging preferences and the environmental cues that determine them. The purpose of this study was to investigate the foraging distributions of non-breeding Greater Flamingos (Phoenicopterus ruber roseus) within one of their southern African overwintering grounds, the Heuningnes Estuary. This was achieved by comparing spatial level differences in the abundance and size of flamingo foraging pits across sites and shore positions, and by examining the effects of soil moisture content and sediment profile as environmental cues driving flamingo foraging behaviour. Pit abundance was obtained as a total count per quadrat, and pit size was measured from photographs taken in the field. Sediment cores provided soil moisture content measurements, while sediment profile was measured as the angle of elevation from each shore position to the high water mark. It was found that flamingos fed homogeneously across all four sites, but restricted their foraging to the high shore and upper mid shore regions of the intertidal. Soil moisture content was not a significant driver of flamingo foraging behaviour, but sediment profile was significant. It was proposed that flamingo foraging preference for the high shore and upper mid shore regions was because: (1) the sediment profiles were flatter, (2) the macrofaunal prey densities were greater and (3) these shore positions coincided with the required depth for stamp-feeding, which was linked to the high tide and the time of day at which foraging occurred. This study provides novel information regarding the environmental drivers of Greater Flamingo foraging behaviour and the spatial use of the intertidal sandflats of the Heuningnes Estuary. Furthermore, this knowledge could be useful for the management of flamingo foraging grounds of the De Mond Nature Reserve. en_ZA
dc.language.iso eng en_ZA
dc.title Environmental determinants of greater flamingo foraging behaviour in an estuarine intertidal sandflat en_ZA
dc.type Thesis / Dissertation en_ZA
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Thesis en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Science en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Department of Biological Sciences en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationlevel Honours en_ZA
dc.type.qualificationname BSc (Hons) en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image


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