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Proc Biol Sci. 2004 Feb 7;271(1536):233-7.

When enough is not enough: shorebirds and shellfishing.

Author information

1
Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Winfrith Technology Centre, Dorchester, UK. j.d.goss-custard@exeter.ac.uk

Abstract

In a number of extensive coastal areas in northwest Europe, large numbers of long-lived migrant birds eat shellfish that are also commercially harvested. Competition between birds and people for this resource often leads to conflicts between commercial and conservation interests. One policy to prevent shellfishing from harming birds is to ensure that enough food remains after harvesting to meet most or all of their energy demands. Using simulations with behaviour-based models of five areas, we show here that even leaving enough shellfish to meet 100% of the birds' demands may fail to ensure that birds survive in good condition. Up to almost eight times this amount is needed to protect them from being harmed by the shellfishery, even when the birds can consume other kinds of non-harvested prey.

PMID:
15058432
PMCID:
PMC1691591
DOI:
10.1098/rspb.2003.2602
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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