Sonya Benjamin's research while affiliated with Emirates University and other places

Publications (7)

Article
Socotra Cormorants (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) are a regionally endemic, locally abundant species restricted primarily to the Arabian Gulf and coastal Oman. The species has declined since the 1980s and is currently categorized as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Breeding phenology, breeding performance and variatio...
Article
Context Nest location is an important determinant of reproductive success in many seabirds. Better understanding of breeding ecology of threatened seabirds could help in their conservation. Aims We evaluated nest location and reproductive success in the globally Vulnerable, regionally endemic, Socotra cormorants on Siniya Island, United Arab Emirat...
Article
Historically cormorants have come into direct conflict with fisheries because of their feeding habits. The Socotra cormorant Phalacrocorax nigrogularis is a regionally endemic seabird restricted to the Arabian Gulf and coastal Oman, and is categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. The species is perceived as being detrimental to local fisheri...
Article
Seabirds are vulnerable to a variety of threats occurring at breeding colonies, including disturbance, habitat degradation and predation from terrestrial predators. Socotra Cormorants Phalacrocorax nigrogularis are threatened, regionally endemic seabirds restricted to the Arabian Gulf and Gulf of Oman regions. Populations have been collapsing throu...
Article
Cannibalism has never been documented in any species of cormorant. While conducting a study on the Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) colony of Siniya Island, Umm Al Quwain, United Arab Emirates, several instances of heterocannibalism were observed and photographed during October–December 2011. Older fledgling chicks were observed consu...

Citations

... While a regionally focused risk assessment enabled identification of transboundary risks to aid decision-making at these scales, it also highlighted difficulties for when risks were not as relevant to all sub-regions. For instance, particular species such as dugongs and Socotra cormorant were not present in all sub-regions but have international significance (Muzaffar et al., 2017;Abdulrazzak and Pauly, 2017). Balancing prioritisation of risks between regional versus global importance, or between sub-regional and regional risks, has no easy solution and depends often on value judgement and priorities. ...
... Nevertheless, the Arabian Gulf harbours a relatively rich variety of breeding or wintering seabirds (about 26 species; Jennings 2010). Many of the seabird colonies have been vulnerable to not only disturbance due to development, but also due to the introduction of native or feral predators (Jennings 2010, Muzaffar et al. 2013. ...
... Overall, the Socotra Cormorant is poorly studied in some aspects of its annual life cycle. Distribution of Socotra Cormorants is governed by the abundance of forage fish, including anchovies (e.g., Encrasicholina) and sardines (Sardinella) [10,14,17]. The only studies investigating its foraging and roosting areas are from the Siniya Island colony, located north of the UAE. ...
... Reduced visibility and concomitant reduction in interactions with neighbours are thus thought to result in birds nesting closer together. In ground-breeding Socotra Cormorants Phalacrocorax nigrogularis, Muzaffar et al. (2015) concluded that the choice of nest location, which made use of cover from scattered trees, reduced the effects of predation from the air and thus contributed to a higher breeding success. Similarly, Stenhouse et al. (2000) found that Leach's Storm Petrels Hydrobates leucorhoa suffered less from aerial predation by large gulls when breeding under tree cover. ...
... Better understanding of breeding biology and threats of the Socotra Cormorant is essential in strategizing recovery of the species. Limited information exists on the breeding biology of Socotra Cormorants (King 2004;Jennings 2010;Muzaffar et al. , 2013Wilson 2012). Breeding birds nest in dense colonies with a distinct peak nesting period between September and October (King 1999;Jennings 2010;Wilson 2012). ...
... La depredación de congéneres no emparentados se conoce como heterocanibalismo y es más común en aves marinas coloniales (Stanback & Koenig 1992). Existen registros de canibalismo de huevos y pichones en gaviotas (Parsons 1971, Watanuki 1988, Brown & Lang 1996, cormoranes (Gubiani et al. 2012), piqueros (Neves et al. 2015), petreles (Grohmann Finger et al. 2021), sin embargo, faltan datos sobre los factores que desencadenan este comportamiento (Polski et al. 2021) y la frecuencia de ocurrencia en los diferentes taxones (Grohmann Finger et al. 2021). ...