Breeding ecology of Kentish Plover Charadrius alexandrinus in an extremely hot environment

Andras Kosztolanyi, Salim Javed, Clemens Kupper, Innes Cuthill, Abdulnasser Al Shamsi, Tamas Szekely

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (SciVal)


Capsule: Hot environments are associated with more biparental care, high nest-site fidelity and low mate fidelity.

Aims: To investigate the breeding ecology and parental behaviour of Kentish Plovers in an extremely hot environment. Kentish Plovers have an unusually diverse breeding system in which the frequencies of biparental, female-only and male-only care vary between populations. A common, but rarely tested, explanation for such a variation is local adaptation: birds exhibit social traits that are adaptive to their breeding environment. In particular, we investigated the effect of a hot environment on breeding success, distribution of care types, and mate and site fidelity.

Methods: A breeding population of approximately 200 pairs of Kentish Plovers was investigated in 2005 and 2006 at Al Wathba Wetland near Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

Results: We found high nest-site fidelity, low mate fidelity and more biparental care in Al Wathba than in most temperate zone populations of Kentish Plovers.

Conclusions: Our results are consistent with the argument that a harsh environment can select for biparental care. However, further studies are warranted to distinguish between alternative hypotheses for the different distribution of social behaviours of breeding populations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-252
Number of pages9
JournalBird Study
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2009


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