The breeding behaviour and ecology of the Kentish Plover, Charadrius alexandrinus Linnaeus, were investigated in three consecutive years in the Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia, where the species breeds either under halophytic bushes or in exposed sites where ground temperatures may reach 60 degrees C. Three aspects make the Farasan Island population distinct from most other Kentish Plover populations studied to date. First, incubating plovers appear to prefer nesting under halophytic bushes rather than in exposed sites, since 65.1% of nests were under bushes, whereas 34.9% of nests were in fully exposed sites. Second, both mate fidelity and nest-site fidelity were high, and pairs stayed within short distances from their previous nest sites. Third, brood desertion was very rare in the Farasan Islands - unlike most other populations where the female or the male deserts the brood shortly after hatching of the eggs - since in 95% of broods both parents attended the chick(s) (n = 153 broods). We suggest that these social traits are driven by the extreme hot environment that requires parental cooperation, although adaptation to island-dwelling and corresponding changes in life-history traits cannot be ruled out.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Zoology in the Middle East|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|