Crab Plover


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Crab Plover

 

(Dromas ardeola), a bird of the order Charadriiformes. The crab plover is the sole species of the family Dromadidae. The body reaches 40 cm in length; its plumage is white with black markings. The straight bill is flattened on the sides, and the legs are long. A good runner, the crab plover is also able to swim. It inhabits the western and northern shores and islands of the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. The bird lives in flocks and nests in colonial groups. One large white egg is laid in a deep burrow. The crab plover feeds on marine invertebrates, especially crabs.

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"Thus," he added, "crab-eating crab plovers that diminish the numbers and activity of crabs are potentially beneficial for seagrasses as well as for the maintenance of its diverse inhabitants."
"As part of the project, we will measure and analyse the movements of crab plovers in the finest possible scale by using a novel type of GPS logger [to measure location] which includes an accelerometer [to measure behaviour]," he revealed.
Dr Andy Kwarteng, director of the Remote Sensing and GIS Centre at the SQU, and principal investigator for this project, said that the undisturbed inter-tidal ecosystem of Barr Al Hikman in the Sultanate of Oman harbours a possible keystone predator, the crab plover that potentially affects two contrasting ecosystem engineers, seagrasses and crabs.
Some of the species that visited the wetlands are Curlew Sandpipers whose numbers have increased by four times in the area in March as compared to January, Crab Plovers whose numbers have decreased by 90 per cent, the Lesser Sand Plover which saw it's numbers drop by 80 per cent and Dunlin which is 50 per cent less in number now.
Of further conservation significance are the breeding populations of sea birds (including, importantly, crab plovers, marine turtles (including the worlds largest hawksbill turtle and dugongs.
Other birdlife which can be spotted on the island include pintails, shovelers, blackwinged stilts, teals, crab plovers, avocets and grey herons.
Birds like Crab Plovers, a 'fantastically big' black and white wader or shorebird is frequently seen there, Pedersen said.
--Birdlife includes flamingos, sea gulls, cormorants, wild fowl, pintails, shovelers, blackwinged stilts, teals, crab plovers, avocets and grey herons.