Do temporary beach closures assist in the conservation of breeding shorebirds on recreational beaches?

Weston, Michael A., Dodge, Fiona, Bunce, Ashley, Nimmo, Dale G. and Miller, Kelly K. 2012, Do temporary beach closures assist in the conservation of breeding shorebirds on recreational beaches?, Pacific conservation biology, vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 47-55.

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Title Do temporary beach closures assist in the conservation of breeding shorebirds on recreational beaches?
Author(s) Weston, Michael A.ORCID iD for Weston, Michael A.
Dodge, Fiona
Bunce, Ashley
Nimmo, Dale G.
Miller, Kelly K.ORCID iD for Miller, Kelly K.
Journal name Pacific conservation biology
Volume number 18
Issue number 1
Start page 47
End page 55
Total pages 9
Publisher Surrey Beatty & Sons
Place of publication Baulkham Hills, N. S. W.
Publication date 2012
ISSN 1038-2097
Keyword(s) beach closure
egg-crushing rates
human impacts
nesting success
Summary Recreational use of beaches may threaten some beach-nesting shorebirds in southern Australia. Temporary Beach Closures, comprized of a 50 x 25 m exclusion zone around a shorebird nest, represent a promising technique for altering human behaviour by reducing both disturbance to birds and inadvertent crushing of eggs by beach visitors. We assessed whether three commonly employed configurations of Temporary Beach Closures (sign, fence, and warden) were effective at: (1) achieving compliance among beach visitors, and (2) reducing egg-crushing rates. Overall, 93.7% of beach visitors complied with all Temporary Beach Closures, resulting in a reduction in egg-crushing rates within, as opposed to adjacent to, Temporary Beach Closures. Levels of compliance were high in all Temporary Beach Closure configurations (88.0-99.4%), and similar levels of compliance were achieved within the three configurations. Human compliance was highest for females and when the density of beach-users was higher, while individuals aged <20 and >61 years were less likely to comply with Temporary Beach Closures. Despite an increased probability of compliance on high density beaches, this did not translate into a reduction in egg crushing rates on such beaches, because the overall number of noncompliant individuals remained higher. We conclude any Temporary Beach Closure configuration is meritorious, and that their use on high and low-use recreational beaches will benefit breeding shorebirds by reducing the rate of egg-crushing. Targeting demographics that display lower levels of compliance, such as men, young people (i.e. <21), and older people (i.e. >60), may further improve the effectiveness of Temporary Beach Closures in enhancing the conservation of shorebirds.
Language eng
Field of Research 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Socio Economic Objective 960503 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Coastal and Estuarine Environments
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2012, Surrey Beatty & Sons
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