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Off-road vehicles bother American oystercatchers

Cara J

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American oystercatchers deal with constant noise from traffic on Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina where they nest. Boats chug in the water nearby, ATVs make a ruckus and military and civilian aircraft fly loudly above them as they’re incubating their eggs. Still, measures are in place to reduce disruptions to nesting birds as much as possible. The National Parks Overflight Act of 1987, for example, restricts the Marine Corps naval air station in coastal North Carolina from flying aircraft in their training sites over the seashore. However, the U.S. Marines Corps has been seeking permission from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Parks Service to ease these restrictions. A recent study published in the journal Ibis set out to better understand how noise might affect several nesting shorebird species. As part of the study, the research team set up video cameras at the oystercatchers’ (Haematopus palliatus) nests to detect when they left their nests due to disturbances. They looked at military overflights, pedestrians, vehicles and native and nonnative predators. In order to determine if overflights were disturbing the species, the team had to first match up when the flights occurred with when the birds were leaving their nests. [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/off-road-vehicles-bother-american-oystercatchers/

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