The human influence on seabird nesting success: Conservation implications

Biological Conservation
By:  and 



Based on studies of brown pelicans Pelecanus occidentalis californicus and Heermann's gulls Larus heermanni, disturbances by recreationists, educational groups, local fishermen and scientists alike can be seriously disruptive and damaging to breeding seabirds in the Gulf of California and off the west coast of Baja California. Similar instances have been identified throughout the world—the problem is not difficult to document, but it is difficult to eliminate. The increasing human-seabird contacts on islands in the Gulf of California and along the west coast of Baja California raise serious questions and immediate concern about the continued preservation of nesting colonies of marine birds in those areas. Conservation measures must consider the extreme sensitivity of many seabirds to the inter- and intraspecific behavioural imbalances created by human disturbances. In some cases, total exclusion of humans may be required; in others, limited access might be possible under closely managed conditions at certain times of the year. A symbiotic relationship between seabird conservation, legitimate research and tourism should be the desired goal.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title The human influence on seabird nesting success: Conservation implications
Series title Biological Conservation
DOI 10.1016/0006-3207(80)90067-1
Volume 18
Issue 1
Year Published 1980
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 16 p.
First page 65
Last page 80
Country Mexico
State Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, Sonora
Other Geospatial Gulf of California
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