Supervisor: Dr. Phil Dearden
I completed my BSc in
Biology and Geography here at UVic, where I focused on the effects
of mangrove afforestation on foraging habitat in Vietnam. From there
I went to Oxford, UK to study shorebird predation risk and
earn my MSc in Zoology. I have returned to UVic to continue my
research on shorebirds and assess their vulnerability to
anthropogenic disturbance and habitat loss in Thailand.
part of the East-Australasian flyway, Thailand’s mudflats, saltpans
and aquaculture ponds provide foraging habitats for 61 migratory and
2 resident shorebird species. If managed effectively, Thailand’s 26
marine national parks can help conserve shorebirds during critical
life phases by protecting habitats from conversion into resorts,
aquaculture ponds or housing developments.
In my two-part study I will assess the possible impacts of human
disturbance and habitat loss on the reproductive success of the near
threatened Malaysian plover (Charadrius peronii) as well as
on a wintering population of grey plover (Pluvialis squatarola),
lesser sand-plover (Charadrius mongolus) and redshank (Tringa
totanus) at Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park in Prachuap Khiri
The aim of the Malaysian plover study will be to assess the degree
to which suitable breeding habitats limit Malaysian plover
populations by relating the intensity of territorial interactions,
the order of occupancy of territories, nest site characteristics to
hatch and fledgling success rates. I will determine how Malaysian
plovers assess habitat quality (both breeding and chick feeding) and
the main causes for nest failure. This information will help park
managers designate areas of the park to set aside for the
conservation of Malaysian plovers. This is particularly important
due to the increase in tourism within the park and the high economic
costs of restricting development on beaches. Also, the results from
my study may help guide future habitat restoration projects.
Furthermore, basic information on the reproductive strategies of
these plovers will be necessary to parameterize population viability
models for the Malaysian plover.
The goal of winter field season is to examine the possible energetic
or predation risk costs of human disturbance, by prey sampling,
conducting focal feeding observations, raptor watches and assessing
changes in habitat choice throughout the winter. Information on prey
densities and intake rates at each habitat can provide the
scientific background for zoning of the park to minimize the effect
of human disturbance on important feeding habitats. My research will
help focus conservation efforts during periods when an alteration in
behaviour due to anthropogenic change is most likely to decrease
Ebeling, J. and M. Yasué. In progress. A global assessment of UNFCC avoided deforestation income potential and gains for conservation and development.
Ebeling, J. and M. Yasué. In progress. Market-based conservation and global governance: Can forest certification compensate for poor environmental law enforcement in Ecuador and Bolivia.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. Submitted. The importance of supratidal habitats for wintering shorebirds and the potential impacts of intensive shrimp aquaculture. Journal of Environmental Management.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. In press. Are salt flats suitable alternative breeding habitats for Malaysian plovers Charadrius peronii threatened by beach habitat loss in Thailand. Bird Conservation International.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. In review. Constraints on successive clutching behaviour of
sedentary Malaysian plovers breeding in a tropical environment. Journal of Field Ornithology.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. In review. Is human disturbance
a conservation concern for wintering shorebirds at Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park, Thailand? Oryx.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. In review. Sex-roles of Malaysian plovers Charadrius peronii during territory acquisition, incubation and brood care. Journal of Ethology.
Feare, C. and M. Yasué. 2006. The evidence for asymptomatic infection of highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 in wild birds. Virology Journal 3: 96 -100. Http://www.virologyj.com/content/pdf/1743-422X-3-96.pdf
Yasué, M. 2006. The need for better quality data to understand avian Influenza in wild birds.
www.scitizens.com (on-line peer-reviewed, science news source), 20 Nov.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. 2006. The effects of heat stress, predation risk and parental investment on Malaysian plover nest return times after a human disturbance. Biological Conservation 132: 472-480.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. 2006. The potential impacts of tourism development on the habitat availability and productivity of the Malaysian plovers (Charadrius peronii). Journal of Applied Ecology 43: 978-989.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. 2006. Simultaneous biparental incubation of two nests by a pair of Malaysian plovers. Wader Study Group Bulletin 109: 121-122.
Yasué, M., C. Feare and L. Bennun. 2006. A vital role for ecologists and ornithologists in wild bird avian influenza outbreaks. BioScience 56(11):923-929.
Yasué, M. 2005. Environmental factors and scale influence a shorebird's response to human disturbance. Biological Conservation 128: 47-54.
Yasué, M. 2005. The effects of human presence, flock size and prey density on shorebird foraging rates. Journal of Ethology 23: 199-204.
Yasué, M., J.L. Quinn, W. Cresswell. 2003. Multiple effects of weather on the starvation and predation risk trade-off in choice of feeding location in redshanks. Functional Ecology 17: 727-736.
Yasué, M. 2007. Linking behaviour to conservation for waders in the Gulf of Thailand. Invited lecture at Bamfield Marine Station, Vancouver Island, November, 2007.
Yasué, M. 2006. The ecological and social context of shorebird conservation in the Gulf of Thailand. Invited guest lecturer for: Geography of Southeast Asia class in the department of geography, Bamfield Marine Station Seminar Series, Vancouver Island, November, 2006.
Yasué, M. 2006. The potential impacts of
tourism development on the habitat availability and productivity of the Malaysian plovers (Charadrius peronii). Student Conference on Conservation Science, Cambridge, November, 2006.
Yasué, M. 2006. The breeding ecology and conservation of the Malaysian plover in the Gulf of Thailand. Western sandpiper meeting at Simon Fraser University, December 2006.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. 2005. Linking behaviour to conservation for waders in the Gulf of Thailand. Invited lecture at Bird Conservation Society, Bangkok, March, 2005.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. 2005. Multiple approaches to assessing the conservation threats to the Malaysian plover. Symposium of Field Ecology and Restoration, King Mongkut University, Thailand, January, 2005; Student Conference on Conservation Science, Cambridge, March, 2005.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. 2004. Breeding ecology of the Malaysian plover. Poster at Wader Study Group Meeting, Papenburg, Germany, November, 2004.
Yasué, M. and P. Dearden. 2004. Habitat requirements of the Malaysian plover in the Gulf of Thailand. Presentation at Wader Study Group Meeting, Papenburg, Germany, November, 2004.
Yasué, M., W. Cresswell and J. Quinn. 2004. Predation risk at Tyninghame Estuary. Wader Study Group Meeting, Papenburg, Germany, November, 2004.
Yasué, M. 2003. Redshanks in Tyninghame estuary. Invited Lecture at Behavioural Ecology Group, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, November, 2003.
Yasué, M. 2002. Redshank microhabitat choice trading off predation risk and starvation risk at Tyninghame estuary, Scotland. Conference Presentation for Waterbird's Society, Madison, USA, November, 2002.