Research on breeding shorebirds in hot subtropic desert in Dubai, UAE

For the fifth year since 2018, intensive field data collection has taken place on breeding shorebirds in extremely hot desert conditions on the border of the tropics and subtropics in kind cooperation with the Natural Resources Protection Section of Environment Department, Dubai Municipality, Government of Dubai (see Elhassan et al. 2021 in Publications section).

Between March and June 2022, two expeditions to the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve were conducted, which were attended by the group leader, researchers and four PhD students of the Behavioral Ecology Research Group.

In 2022, more than 240 nests of Red-wattled Lapwings and several tens nests of other ground-nesting species were found. For most nests, the course of breeding was closely monitored: timing of breeding, reproductive effort (clutch size, egg size), nest site and habitat (breeding on lake islands or elsewhere in desert, use of tree shadow, distance from water etc.) and predation rate (see Sládeček et al. 2021 in Publications section). Furthermore, the parents and nest owners were individually identified. If they were not marked from previous years, they were captured and marked with a unique color-ring code and chip for reading of their presence on the nest, nest site fidelity, breeding success and survival. The closely monitored nests were equipped with code readers, which allow detailed survey of incubation and other activities of birds on nests.

During the seasons 2020 and 2021, we experimentally evaluated the variation of aggressive behavior of Red-wattled Lapwings toward dummy predators (see Brynychová et al. 2022 in Publications section).

The photogallery shows the field work of the team in this project.

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