, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 0865-0871

Impacts of Disturbance from Construction Work on the Densities and Feeding Behavior of Waterbirds Using the Intertidal Mudflats of Cardiff Bay, UK

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Abstract

The impact of disturbance from construction work around Cardiff Bay, south Wales, on the densities and feeding behavior of seven waterbird species was studied over an 11-year period. Construction of a barrage across the mouth of the bay has subsequently resulted in its impoundment; other major works included the construction of a bridge carrying a divided highway. Construction work disturbance significantly reduced the densities of five species—green-winged teal (Anas crecca), Eurasian oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus), dunlin (Calidris alpina), Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata), and common redshank (Tringa totanus)—on adjacent intertidal mudflats, and thus the overall carrying capacity of the bay. Construction work also reduced the feeding activity of Eurasian oystercatcher, dunlin, and common redshank on these mudflats. The possible impact of the loss of birds from these mudflats upon the populations that the bay supported is discussed. Evidence from other local studies suggests that the displacement of common redshank from these mudflats did not contribute to a decline in this species.