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Breeding of Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis on Selvagem Grande and beneficial effects of removal of invasive mammals

Zino, F. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9309-0786, Biscoito, M. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9347-0823 and Buckle, A. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5449-9279 (2021) Breeding of Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis on Selvagem Grande and beneficial effects of removal of invasive mammals. Oryx. pp. 1-8. ISSN 0030-6053

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/S0030605321000661

Abstract/Summary

The largest colony of Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis nests on the island of Selvagem Grande in the north-eastern Atlantic. In 2002, a programme of eradication was conducted to remove two alien invasive mammals, the house mouse Mus musculus and European rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus. Preliminary studies recorded beneficial effects of the eradications for a variety of plant and animal species, including Cory's shearwater. We recorded fledging rates of shearwaters for 1982–2001, prior to the eradication, and for 2002–2020, after the eradication, from two quadrats, each containing 134–329 nest sites. Although there was annual fluctuation in fledging rates in the quadrats, the mean rate of 40.74 ±SD 3.92 fledglings per 100 nest sites for the two quadrats combined prior to the eradication of mammals increased significantly, to 52.88 ± SD 5.03 per 100 nest sites, after the eradications. Because the two mammals were removed synchronously it is difficult to know which factors depressed fledging of Cory's shearwaters on Selvagem Grande. However, the predatory behaviour of house mice on other oceanic islands, and the fact that increased fledging was seen soon after the eradications occurred, suggest predation by house mice on shearwater hatchlings was the main cause of losses.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Biological Sciences > Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
ID Code:101351
Publisher:Cambridge University Press

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