Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protecting Waterbirds From Watercraft

Date:
January 25, 2002
Source:
Society For Conservation Biology
Summary:
There you are, peacefully eating or resting when BLAM, up zooms a loud, splashy jetski. You'd fly away if you could -- and that's exactly what waterbirds do. But new research shows that waterbirds and watercraft can coexist as long as they are far enough away from each other.

There you are, peacefully eating or resting when BLAM, up zooms a loud, splashy jetski. You'd fly away if you could -- and that's exactly what waterbirds do. But new research shows that waterbirds and watercraft can coexist as long as they are far enough away from each other.

"Wildlife viewing…may cause waterbirds to abandon sites that managers are attempting to protect," say James Rodgers and Stephen Schwikert of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Gainesville in the February issue of Conservation Biology.

In 1999, Florida had more than 140,000 registered jetskis and other personal watercraft (PWC), and there are an estimated 1.3 million in the U.S. PWCs can mean trouble for waterbirds because they can navigate the shallow, secluded waterways where birds like to eat and rest.

To help protect waterbirds from PWCs and motorboats, Rodgers and Schwikert determined flush distances for 23 species at 11 sites along the east and west coasts of Florida.

Despite the PWC's reputation for noise and wildlife disturbance, Rodgers and Schwikert found that flush distances were greater for motorboats most (80%) of the time. For PWCs, the average flush distance ranged from about 65 feet for least terns to 160 feet for osprey; for a 14-foot motorboat, the average flush distance ranged from about 75 feet for Forster's terns to 190 feet for osprey. In general, larger birds had greater flush distances, which makes sense because they need more time to take flight due to their slower take-offs and flight speeds.

Based on their data, Rodgers and Schwikert conclude that a single buffer zone can protect waterbirds from both PWCs and motorboats. Specifically, they recommend buffer zones of about 330 feet for plovers and sandpipers, 460 feet for terns and gulls, 490 feet for osprey and 590 feet for wading birds. However, the researchers caution that managers should customize the buffer distances for individual sites and waterbirds because some populations are more sensitive than others. For instance, great white herons in the Florida Keys had a 25% greater flush distance than great blue herons along the mainland.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Society For Conservation Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Society For Conservation Biology. "Protecting Waterbirds From Watercraft." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 January 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020125073525.htm>.
Society For Conservation Biology. (2002, January 25). Protecting Waterbirds From Watercraft. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020125073525.htm
Society For Conservation Biology. "Protecting Waterbirds From Watercraft." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020125073525.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre

AP (July 29, 2014) Food scraps and other items left on the grounds by picnickers brings unwelcome visitors to the grounds of the world famous and popular Louvre Museum in Paris. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

Jane Goodall Warns Great Apes Face Extinction

AFP (July 29, 2014) The world's great apes face extinction within decades, renowned chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall warned Tuesday in a call to arms to ensure man's closest relatives are not wiped out. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

Rat Infestation at Paris' Tuileries Garden

AFP (July 29, 2014) An infestation of rats is causing concern among tourists at Paris' most famous park -- the Tuileries garden next to the Louvre Museum. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins