Results of a seabird survey at the southern Seribuat Archipelago, Johor, Malaysia
HAMZA, A., MAMAT, I.B.H. & ABDULLAH, M.T. 2019. Results of a seabird survey at the southern Seribuat Archipelago, Johor, Malaysia.
Marine Ornithology 47: 49
Received 10 July 2018, accepted 20 November 2018
Date Published: 2019/04/15
Date Online: 2019/01/31
Key words: breeding colonies, seabirds, egg harvest, conservation, Malaysia
Thirty-one seabird species are found in Malaysia; a few still breed on rocky outcrops and small islands in the southern Seribuat Archipelago. A century-long egg harvest by local fishermen in the area is believed to have caused extirpation of several breeding populations. To update the status of seabirds in the southern section of the Seribuat Archipelago, a two-day survey was conducted in August 2017. Twenty-two islands were selected and surveyed using boat observation and colony visits. In total, over 6 200 birds were counted, representing five tern species: Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus, Black-naped Tern Sterna sumatrana, Great Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii, Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, and the Lesser Crested Tern T. bengalensis. The first two species are confirmed breeders, whereas the remaining species are either passage migrants or unconfirmed breeders. The survey led to the rediscovery of a small population of Roseate Terns at Pulau Yu (one of the species' two historic breeding sites in Malaysia). The islands surveyed are not legally protected (except for the Pulau Tinggi group). The protection of selected sites is highly recommended to conserve these remaining seabird populations.
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