One of the expected effects of the global warming is changing coastal habitats by accelerating the rate of sea level rise. Coastal habitats support large number of marine and wetland species including shorebirds (plovers, sandpipers and allies). In this study, we investigate how coastal habitats may be impacted by sea level rise in the Farasan Islands, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We use Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus - a common coastal breeding shorebird - as an ecological model species to predict the influence of sea level rise. We found that any rise of sea level is likely to inundate 11% of Kentish plover nests. In addition, 5% of the coastal areas of Farasan Islands, which support 26% of Kentish plover nests, will be flooded, if sea level rises by one metre. Our results are constrained by the availability of data on both elevation and bird populations. Therefore, we recommend follow-up studies to model the impacts of sea level rise using different elevation scenarios, and the establishment of a monitoring programme for breeding shorebirds and seabirds in Farasan Islands to assess the impact of climate change on their populations.
AlRashidi, M., Shobrak, M., Al-Eissa, M. S., & Szekely, T. (2012). Integrating spatial data and shorebird nesting locations to predict the potential future impact of global warming on coastal habitats: A case study on Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 19(3), 311-315. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sjbs.2012.02.001