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Patterns of Waterbirds Abundance and Habitat Use in Rice Fields

논습지에 도래하는 수조류의 서식지 이용과 개체군 특성

  • Received : 2012.10.18
  • Accepted : 2012.10.23
  • Published : 2012.12.31

Abstract

BACKGROUND: As natural wetlands are decreased by increment of human demand, the importance of rice fields as an alternative habitat for waterbirds is well documented. However, the relationship between waterbirds use and management practice of rice fields has not been fully understood. The present study attempted to understand the changes in temporal abundance of waterbirds and their preference for habitat types in rice fields all year round. METHODS AND RESULTS: Waterbirds census were conducted in rice fields around Asan bay in Korea during April 2009-March 2010 and April 2011-March 2012. In the bird counts, the locations of the observed birds on a 1/2,500 map were recorded along with the local habitat type (paddy, ditch, levee, road). Thirty five species of waterbirds recorded in the rice fields during the survey period and three major groups (shorebirds, herons, and waterfowls) were characterized according to season and micro-habitat use. Shorebirds visited a flooded paddy for feeding during their spring migration season (April-May), and herons used the rice field as feeding sites during their breeding periods (April-October). Most waterfowls were observed in a dry paddy to feed a fallen rice seed and stubs during the winter season (September-March). Waterbird groups selectively used micro-habitats in rice field. Shorebirds and waterfowls mainly preferred at rice paddies, while herons were attracted to most habitat types. CONCLUSION(S): Rice fields supported various waterbirds all year round and waterbird communities using the rice fields were dramatically changed according to seasonal change of rice field condition.

Keywords

Habitat preference;Micro-habitat;Rice field;Waterbirds

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