Michael A. Weston

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Disturbance – the response of birds to a stimulus such as the presence of a person – is considered a conservation threat for some Australian birds. The distance at which a bird flees from perceived danger is defined as the flight-initiation distance (FID), and could be used to designate separation distances between birds and stimuli that might cause(More)
One way to manage disturbance to waterbirds in natural areas where humans require access is to promote the occurrence of stimuli for which birds tolerate closer approaches, and so cause fewer responses. We conducted 730 experimental approaches to 39 species of waterbird, using five stimulus types (single walker, three walkers, bicycle, car and bus) selected(More)
Increased encephalization has been linked to a range of behavioural traits and scenarios. However, studies of whole brain size in this context have been criticised for ignoring the role of specific brain areas in controlling behaviour. In birds, the response to potential threats is one such behaviour that may relate to the way in which the brain processes(More)
Few studies document long-term colony-level metrics from colony establishment to maturity (equilibrium) and few test predictions of general models of colony development. We describe long-term trends in a colony of Australasian Gannets (Morus serrator) which has been monitored from an early stage in its development. The colony at Pope’s Eye, within Port(More)
Ornamentation of parents poses a high risk for offspring because it reduces cryptic nest defence. Over a century ago, Wallace proposed that sexual dichromatism enhances crypsis of open-nesting females although subsequent studies found that dichromatism per se is not necessarily adaptive. We tested whether reduced female ornamentation in a sexually(More)
We surveyed 579 recreationists regarding management of the threatened, beach-dwelling Hooded Plover Thinornis rubricollis. We postulated that: (1) lower awareness of the species and higher 'inconvenience' of management would engender less favourable perceptions of conservation and management; and (2) that frequency of beach use and dog ownership may mediate(More)
Complexity is increasingly the hallmark in environmental management practices of sandy shorelines. This arises primarily from meeting growing public demands (e.g., real estate, recreation) whilst reconciling economic demands with expectations of coastal users who have modern conservation ethics. Ideally, shoreline management is underpinned by empirical(More)
In some wilderness areas, wildlife encounter vehicles disrupt their behaviour and habitat use. Changing driver behaviour has been proposed where bans on vehicle use are politically unpalatable, but the efficacy of vehicle setbacks and reduced speeds remains largely untested. We characterised bird-vehicle encounters in terms of driver behaviour and the(More)
ANDERS P. MØLLER*, DIOGO S. M. SAMIA, MICHAEL A. WESTON, PATRICK-JEAN GUAY and DANIEL T. BLUMSTEIN Laboratoire d’Ecologie, Syst ematique et Evolution, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Unit e Mixte de Recherche 8079, Universit e Paris-Sud, Bâtiment 362, F-91405, Orsay Cedex, France Ecology and Evolution, Laboratory of Theoretical Ecology and(More)
On most developed coastlines, dunes backing ocean beaches constitute an urbanised landscape mosaic containing remnant pockets of small conservation areas. Urbanised beaches are also prime sites for domestic dogs, known to be environmentally harmful in many other settings. It is unknown, however, whether small, protected parcels of dune are adequate for(More)