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Journal Article

Citation

McLeod EM, Guay PJ, Taysom AJ, Robinson RW, Weston MA. PLoS One 2013; 8(12): e82008.

Affiliation

Centre for Integrative Ecology, Faculty of Science, Engineering and the Built Environment, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Burwood, Australia.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2013, Public Library of Science)

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0082008

PMID

24367498

PMCID

PMC3867343

Abstract

One way to manage disturbance to waterbirds in natural areas where humans require access is to promote the occurrence of stimuli for which birds tolerate closer approaches, and so cause fewer responses. We conducted 730 experimental approaches to 39 species of waterbird, using five stimulus types (single walker, three walkers, bicycle, car and bus) selected to mimic different human management options available for a controlled access, Ramsar-listed wetland. Across species, where differences existed (56% of 25 cases), motor vehicles always evoked shorter flight-initiation distances (FID) than humans on foot. The influence of stimulus type on FID varied across four species for which enough data were available for complete cross-stimulus analysis. All four varied FID in relation to stimuli, differing in 4 to 7 of 10 possible comparisons. Where differences occurred, the effect size was generally modest, suggesting that managing stimulus type (e.g. by requiring people to use vehicles) may have species-specific, modest benefits, at least for the waterbirds we studied. However, different stimulus types have different capacities to reduce the frequency of disturbance (i.e. by carrying more people) and vary in their capacity to travel around important habitat.


Language: en

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