Use of habitats by resident and migrant birds in and around a golf course on the Atlantic coast of Morocco

Greig-Smith, P. W. (2014). Use of habitats by resident and migrant birds in and around a golf course on the Atlantic coast of Morocco. Bird Study 61(1): 111–120. doi:10.1080/00063657.2014.882289

Abstract:

Capsule: Woodland bird species were more diverse and more frequently encountered on a Golf Course than in nearby habitats.

Aims: To assess the occurrence of woodland birds in the recently created Mogador Golf Course compared to surrounding undeveloped woodland.

Methods: Bird surveys were carried out in four seasons between October 2011 and July 2012, using one-minute point counts to compile species lists for the Golf Course and nearby Woodland. Data were analysed by ANOVA to detect differences between areas and among seasons, for individual species and for the average number of species per count.

Results: Sixty-six percent of species encountered were in both areas, but 29% were only on the Golf Course. The range of species was higher in all seasons for the Golf Course, and over the whole year was almost twice as large. More species were recorded per one minute count in the Golf Course (4.44 ± 0.12) than in Woodland (3.56 ± 0.15). Eight of nine species were more frequently recorded in Golf Course counts.

Conclusion: Establishment of the Golf Course has benefited both resident and migrant birds, owing to creation of new habitats (golf fairways and lakes), irrigation, prevention of grazing and retention of previous habitat.

Mogador Golf Course, Atlantic coast of Morocco

Mogador Golf Course, Atlantic coast of Morocco