Long-Term Population Trends and Diversity Shifts among Shorebirds: A Predictor of Biodiversity Loss along the Arabian Gulf Coasts

H. Shamna, K. A. Rubeena, Humood A. Naser, T. R. Athira, Ajay Kumar Singh, Ali H. Almusabeh, Stamatis Zogaris, Omar F. Al-Sheikhly, Yanjie Xu, Aymen Nefla, Durga Rao Gijjappu, Sabir Bin Muzaffar, K. M. Aarif

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bahrain is a cluster of islands in the mid-section of the Arabian Gulf that serves as an important wintering and stop-over ground for many migratory shorebirds in the Central Asian Flyway (CAF). However, natural and anthropogenic factors have had a significant impact on these ecosystems over the last few decades. Long-term, systematic studies based on standardized survey observations are needed to understand the population dynamics and diversity changes of shorebirds in these critical sites. We systematically surveyed the shorebird population and community in Bahrain between 2010 January to 2021 December. This is the first comprehensive study from the entire Kingdom of Bahrain, and covered 13 sites over 12 years to establish the results. A total of 39 species were encountered during the study period from all 13 sites in Bahrain, of which 27 species were common and regular migrants to all the study sites; these were selected to analyze the population trend. Five species represented 77% or more of the total wintering shorebird population. All the shorebird species assessed exhibited significant declining trends over the years, and majority of them had over 1% relative abundance. Shorebirds in Bahrain were severely threatened at these sites, indicating that their population trend in the area could be crucially affected. Further conservation efforts are needed, aided by an understanding of the mechanisms driving the decline and diversity changes of shorebirds in the most stressed coastal regions of Bahrain. Further studies organized throughout the country’s coasts may aid in establishing improved conservation measures to protect the shorebirds of the CAF in Bahrain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number468
JournalDiversity
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023

Keywords

  • Bahrain
  • conservation
  • intertidal habitats
  • shorebird
  • wintering grounds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Ecological Modelling
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

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