An open-content, electronic journal published by the Animal Demography Unit
at the University of Cape Town

Bird distribution dynamics 3 – African Spoonbill Platalea alba in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland

Les G Underhill, María López Gómez and Michael Brooks

...Overall, the most likely scenario is that the expansion in range and increase in abundance which the African Spoonbill clearly experienced for most of the 20th century has come to an end. It appears likely that the spoonbill has started to decrease in abundance in the two decades since SABAP2. Because of its nomadic behaviour, counts of African Spoonbills at individual wetlands are unlikely to be able to help us understand overall population trends. This is borne out by the results of CWAC surveys, where the graphics show large inter-year fluctuations at wetlands, with the largest value being an order of magnitude larger than the smallest. It is likely that an annual trend index based on the SABAP2 data will provide a reliable measure of population trend for African Spoonbill. ...

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