Monthly and seasonal changes in the aquatic avifauna at Rondevlei Bird Sanctuary (Cape Province, South Africa)

Guillet A. & Crowe T. M.

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Patterns of long-term temporal variation in waterbird abundance and species richness at Rondevlei Bird Sanctuary are studied. Waterbird utilisation shows a strong seasonal variation which is correlated with variation in abiotic factors, especially water depth, rainfall and water and ambient temperature. Relationships between the utilisation of different waterbird taxo-morpho-eco-ethological and status groupings and the environment, are mediated through the presence of shallow water and mud habitats, and the ecological density of food. These waterbird-environmental relationships may be complex, especiaIIy when influenced by lag and threshold effects. Future research needs are reviewed.