Modelling Grazing on an Intertidal Area
Bird On! Abstract
11th April 1997
Steve Percival, Bill Sutherland and Peter Evans seem to gave cracked the need for a model to predict Brent Goose and Wigeon numbers grazing areas on the mudflats at Lindisfarne (Northumbria, England). In the Journal of Applied Ecology (33: 979-992) they used various parameters to do with the ducks, the geese and their three main foods (two species of Zosteria and the algal growth of Enteromorpha).
It worked. It also showed that the Brent Geese, much bigger than the Wigeon, did not react to their grazing pressure - just the amount of food - but the Wigeon were sensitive to the geese feeding on an area. I am not quite sure that I agree with this sort of study which possible endangers the good old fashioned field ornithologist as a species! The sound of wellies squidging through the mud will still be needed through the land - I hope!