Seasonal Movements Between Habitats of Whitefronted Plovers Charadrius marginatus in a Coastal Dunefield


  • Debbie van der Merwe
  • Anton McLachlan
  • An M. C. De Ruyck


Whitefronted Plover, dunefield, estuary, foraging strategy


After the breeding season, Whitefronted Plovers moved from territories in the Alexandria dunefield to feeding grounds ill the Sundays River estuary. Topographic features and abundant small invertebrate prey make the estuary a favoured feeding habitat, but a poor breeding location. Plovers returned to the dunes to establish territories at the start of the breeding season in June. While occupying territories in the dunefield before the chicks hatch, adult plovers feed in the intertidal zone, rather than the dunes. Young chicks fed in the dunes with their parents until they were large enough to forage on the beach.