Distribution, population size, breeding and conservation of the Kelp Gull in southern Africa
Publication Year:
The Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus in Africa occurs coastally between Luanda, Angola and Delagoa Bay, Moçambique. It breeds between Cape Cross Lagoon, South West Africa/Namibia and Riet River, eastern Cape, South Africa. Censuses of nests and breeding birds at all known southern African breeding localities in the period 1976-1981 indicated that 11 199 pairs bred at 52 localities; 79.5% of this population occurred in South Africa, 57,1% in the Saldanha Bay to Dassen Island region, southwestern Cape. Of the breeding pairs 83% occurred on offshore islands and rocks. Colony size at islands is related to their surface area andMayalso be influenced by food availability and the level of human disturbance. The species breeds in a wide variety of habitats ranging from cliffs and rock stacks to wooden platforms, lowlying vegetation among sand dunes and estuarine sandbars. Any available material is used in the construction of nests, which may be as dense as 4/m2. Clutch size is 2-3 eggs. In 1978 breeding took place earlier in South Africa than in South West Africa/Namibia. 92% of the population breeds in sites which are legally protected. Kelp Gulls have decreased or increased in numbers at some breeding localities but there is no clear overall trend. Any increases in colony size near urban areas may result in added airstrike hazards.
Publication Title:
Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology
Item Type:
Journal Article

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