Publications

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phylogenetic analysis of influenza a viruses (h6n8, h1n8, h4n2, h9n2, h10n7) isolated from wild birds, ducks, and ostriches in south africa from 2007 to 2009.influenza a strains emerging from wild birds are a constant threat to south africa's valuable ostrich industry. in 2004 and again in 2006, low pathogenicity avian influenza h5n2 strains introduced from a wild bird reservoir mutated in ostriches to high pathogenicity avian influenza (hpai), with serious economic consequences and export bans imposed by the european union. although no outbreaks of notifiable avian influenza have occurred in south africa since 2006, the h9n2 virus caused a localized ...201020521652
seabirds (laridae) as a source of campylobacter spp., salmonella spp. and antimicrobial resistance in south africa.zoonotic thermophilic campylobacter and nontyphoidal salmonella enterica are a major cause of foodborne human gastroenteritis worldwide. there is little information about reservoirs of these zoonotic agents in africa. thus, chicks of kelp gulls (larus dominicanus, n=129) and greater crested terns (thalasseus bergii, n=100) were studied at five colonies on the western cape coast (south africa) during summer 2013/2014. campylobacter spp. occurrence was 14.0% (ci95% : 9.9-19.3), with c. jejuni the ...201728752962
foraging plasticity in seabirds: a non-invasive study of the diet of greater crested terns breeding in the benguela region.marine predators, such as seabirds, are useful indicators of marine ecosystem functioning. in particular, seabird diet may reflect variability in food-web composition due to natural or human-induced environmental change. diet monitoring programmes, which sample diet non-invasively, are valuable aids to conservation and management decision-making. we investigated the diet of an increasing population of greater crested terns thalasseus bergii in the western cape, south africa, during three success ...201829385167
measuring behavioral responses of sea turtles, saltwater crocodiles, and crested terns to drone disturbance to define ethical operating thresholds.drones are being increasingly used in innovative ways to enhance environmental research and conservation. despite their widespread use for wildlife studies, there are few scientifically justified guidelines that provide minimum distances at which wildlife can be approached to minimize visual and auditory disturbance. these distances are essential to ensure that behavioral and survey data have no observer bias and form the basis of requirements for animal ethics and scientific permit approvals. i ...201829561901
a non-invasive approach to estimate the energetic requirements of an increasing seabird population in a perturbed marine ecosystem.there is a growing desire to integrate the food requirements of predators living in marine ecosystems impacted by humans into sustainable fisheries management. we used non-invasive video-recording, photography and focal observations to build time-energy budget models and to directly estimate the fish mass delivered to chicks by adult greater crested terns thalasseus bergii breeding in the benguela ecosystem. mean modelled adult daily food intake increased from 140.9 g·d-1 of anchovy engraulis ca ...201829844530
bioaccumulation of heavy metals in eggshell and egg content of seabirds: lesser (thalasseus bengalensis) and greater crested tern (thalasseus bergii).the persian gulf, the most important marine ecosystem, and its islands are negatively impacted by development and pollution. different types of pollution, especially heavy metals in these habitats, may create risks to birds, influencing reproductive performance, survival, and behaviors. heavy metals (cd, pb, cr) were analyzed in two long-lived and top food web-level sea birds, lesser (thalasseus bengalensis) and greater crested tern (thalasseus bergii). the research was carried out during 2018 o ...202032319936
trends in seabird breeding populations across the great barrier reef.the great barrier reef is an iconic ecosystem, known globally for its rich marine biodiversity that includes many thousands of tropical breeding seabirds. despite indications of localised declines in some seabird species from as early as the mid-1990s, trends in seabird populations across the reef have never been quantified. with a long history of human impact and ongoing environmental change, seabirds are likely sentinels in this important ecosystem. using four decades of monitoring data, we es ...202032885491
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