Global investigations on the sex roles evolution in shorebirds
Successful ÉLVONAL fieldwork camp in Melbourne
by Vojtěch Kubelka
During 20–24 November 2019 a successful ÉLVONAL Shorebird Science Fieldwork Training Camp How to study breeding shorebirds? took place in Cheetham Wetlands near Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Smooth running of the course was assured by great logistical support from local team: Mike Weston, Kristal Kostoglou, Laura Tan and reserve rangers. The weather was favourable for most of the time as well and while training participants, we collected first ÉLVONAL data from Australia. We observed mostly courtship behaviour in detail and found dozens of nests at the beginning of incubation suggesting a coming peak in breeding activity for Red-capped Plovers (Charadrius ruficapillus). The exchange of knowledge and experience among participants during the workshop was smooth and productive. It was great, fruitful and stimulating meeting promoting future cooperation within and beyond ÉLVONAL framework.
Clutch or Red-capped Plovers usually consist of two eggs, can be well exposed as well as hidden under a bush and incubation takes about 30 days.
Melbourne city is spreading quickly. Although the reserve itself is safe and with restricted public access, encompassing new settlements are attracting and supporting more predators which have already penetrated into the reserve causing high predation pressure on eggs and chicks.