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International Journal of Marine Science 2013, Vol.3, No.25, 193-200
not yet been studied in any detail, a couple of species
of lizards, and innumerable Black Rats. Recent
species is a native in Iran, but there is not enough
information (how and when) about entrance of Black
Rats to the islands, but local people information shows
this species entered to the islands by fisherman boats.
Natural predators, namely the Black Rat
Rattus rattus
Ruddy Turnstone
Arenaria interpress
and Crab Plover
Dromas ardeola
frequently interfere with the nesting
success of terns, also sometimes some gull species,
specially Lesser Black-backed Gull
Larus fuscus
feeds on eggs and chicks of terns.
Rattus rattus
often noted as a predator of Cory’s Shearwater chicks
(Jean-Pierre Biber, 1989). Predation of chicks by
Black Rats is noted where their density is high
(Jean-Pierre Biber, 1989). It is also believed that some
colonies have been deserted in the past due to
continuous disturbance of breeding site by some
fishermen. Nakhiloo, Om-Al-Gorm, Tahmadon and
Khan Islands are good representative example of
low-lying inshore islands characteristic of the Persian
Gulf. The islands support important breeding colonies
Dromas ardeola
(Maximum breeding population
2,825 pairs in Om-Al-Gorm) and Terns (Sterna sp.).
The Maximum number of Breeding population of
birds which have been censuses in recent years in the
islands were 17,783 pairs in Nakhiloo for Lesser
Crested Tern (Table 3), 2,500 pairs for Swift Tern in
Khan (Table 5), 29,461 pairs for Bridled Tern in
Nakhiloo, 700 pairs for White-checked Tern in
Om-Al-Gorm and 92 pairs for Western Reef Heron in
Nakhiloo. The islands are managed by a National park
authority. They are Sensitive area for breeding
population of Terns, Western Reef Heron, Crab Plover
and Hawksbill Turtle (The Globally Threatened
Species). Within the Persian Gulf, Lesser Crested Tern
and Bridled Tern are most abundant in the Nakhiloo
and Om-Al Gorm. The same species of Terns breed in
each of the three islands. (Tables 3, 4 and 5). The
fluctuations of the number of breeding population
could be due to variation in the local environment of
the islands (Figures 2, 4 and 6). During 2008-2012 the
tern species have nested in the islands, with patterns
suggesting the influence of some common factors,
acting on a local scale. An increase of Bridled Tern
occurred throughout the islands till 2010 and then
declined again; this could be attributed to the food and
security provided during breeding time. It seems the
populations of terns move between the islands. The
number of colonies and the average number of nests
per colony (Tables 3, 4 and 5) are extremely stable
between the islands, and are presumably determined
by the local environment. At present, the offshore
islands of the Persian Gulf, with their coral reefs,
present a picture of unspoiled beauty. Their plant and
animal population are rich and unique, and are
exceptionally beautiful and distractive as well as being
of great scientific interest. Much of the beauty and
uniqueness of these sites, however, result from the fact
that they have so far remained relatively free from
human interference. They represent a valuable, fragile
and irreplaceable resource. The Nakhiloo, Tahmadon,
Khan and Om-Al-Gorm islands are a part of Dayer
National Park and have few known threats.
This research project has been financially supported by the Department of
the Environment Office of Bushehr Province. We are grateful to DoE of
Bushehr for supporting this project. I would also like to thank the
Department of the Environment personnel of Dayer National park Office
who helped in the counts of the terns population and assisted with
transportation on islands.
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