COLONY AND HABITAT SELECTION OF SIX KELP GULL LARUS DOMINICANUS COLONIES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Joanna Burger, Michael Gochfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Kelp Gulls nested in six colonies on rocky islands, sand and rock cliffs, sand dunes and on a sand, gravel island in a salt lake. The colony sites selected were different from the surrounding areas and were generally inaccessible to ground predators. Kelp Gulls nested in a wide variety of habitats. Within colonies, the gulls did not nest randomly with respect to habitats but preferred to nest on flat, stable areas with some cover (either rocks or vegetation). They generally avoided heavily vegetated areas, areas devoid of vegetation and areas with steep slopes. Their specific habitat choices relate to predation and cannibalism pressures. Intermediate cover provides adequate protection for chicks while allowing for increased visibility and open escape routes for parents. Nearest neighbour distances were similar among colonies and habitats, indicating strong social attraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)298-310
Number of pages13
JournalIbis
Volume123
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1981

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology

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