C

Figure 31.4 Relationships between day-to-day variation in sea surface temperatures and (A) meal size provided to chicks, (B) frequency of feeding, and (C) chick growth rates, for wedge-tailed shearwaters breeding on Heron I. February 2003. D, wedge-tailed shearwater chick. (Photos: D. Peck.)

Figure 31.4 Relationships between day-to-day variation in sea surface temperatures and (A) meal size provided to chicks, (B) frequency of feeding, and (C) chick growth rates, for wedge-tailed shearwaters breeding on Heron I. February 2003. D, wedge-tailed shearwater chick. (Photos: D. Peck.)

breeding in the GBR. The Australian east coast population was believed to be extinct until a small number were discovered on a southern GBR island in the 1990's. The species currently has an extremely restricted coastal distribution and total population numbers remain low. It is listed as 'critically endangered'.

Large numbers of migratory wader species also spend their non-breeding season among the islands of the GBR. These birds breed in northern Asia and Alaska and migrate thousands of kilometres along the East

Asian-Australasian Flyway to non-breeding sites in Australia and New Zealand. They are most commonly found in coastal estuaries and tidal mudflats but many species also form large groupings on coral cays and other islands. Common species include: greater (Charadrius leschenaultii) and lesser (Charadrius mongo-lus) sand plovers, turnstones (Arenaria interpres), golden plover (Pluvialis apricaria), grey-tailed tattler (Tringa brevipes), red-necked stint (Calidris ruficollis) and bar-tailed godwit (Limosa lapponica).

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