Damara Tern, Sterna balaenarum - review

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The most obvious threat to breeding colonies is disturbance caused by off-road vehicles and direct fatalities due to crushed eggs and chicks (Braby 1995, Braby et al. 2002, Braby et al. 2009). It is probable that this form of disturbance will increase in Namibia due to three factors. Firstly, the banning of off-road vehicles on South African beaches means that many more quad-bikes and four-wheel drive vehicles now come to Namibia and abuse beach habitats(R Braby pers. obs.). Secondly, as coastal tourist density increases, so more remote areas where terns breed will be impacted. Thirdly, jackal and gull densities are artificially high because of the increasing numbers of seal colonies on mainland Namibia and the large number of line-fishermen along the shorelines. The intensity of predation on tern colonies from jackals is likely to increase in future, as jackal populations increase.

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