UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Reducing the density of breeding gulls influences the pattern of recruitment of immature Atlantic puffins Fratercula arctica to a breeding colony


Finney, S K; Harris, M P; Keller, L F; Elston, D A; Monaghan, P; Wanless, S (2003). Reducing the density of breeding gulls influences the pattern of recruitment of immature Atlantic puffins Fratercula arctica to a breeding colony. Journal of Applied Ecology, 40(3):545-552.

Abstract

1. By acting as both competitors and predators, gulls (Larus spp.) are generally considered to reduce significantly the attractiveness of potential breeding sites for other birds. This perceived threat posed by gulls to other breeding birds has led to the implementation of gull control procedures at many seabird colonies. However, the extent to which reducing gull numbers benefits other species has received little rigorous scientific investigation. 2. During a gull control programme (1972-89), gull nest density on the Isle of May, south-east Scotland, was reduced by between 30% and 100% in different sections of the island. Following termination of the original programme in 1989, several sections were maintained as gull-free by repeated removal of nests. 3. We used data collected over a 23-year period to determine the extent to which the spatial variation in puffin Fratercula arctica recruitment was influenced by changes in the density and spatial distribution of breeding gulls resulting from the control programme. 4. The presence of breeding gulls significantly affected the pattern of recruitment of puffins to the colony. Puffin recruitment rate was highest in the sections of the island where gull nest density was low. Gull density explained 21% of the variation in puffin recruitment rate. 5. These results suggest that the reduction in the number of breeding gulls substantially increased the attractiveness of areas of the colony as breeding sites for puffins, and is thus likely to have played an important role in the pattern of expansion of the puffin population on the island. 6. Synthesis and applications. Following a recent increase in the conservation status of both herring L. argentatus and lesser black-backed gulls L. fuscus , there has been a move to make management decisions more objective. This has highlighted the need for studies such as this, aimed at assessing the impact of gulls and their removal on other breeding birds, to ensure that any future control programmes are both necessary and effective.

1. By acting as both competitors and predators, gulls (Larus spp.) are generally considered to reduce significantly the attractiveness of potential breeding sites for other birds. This perceived threat posed by gulls to other breeding birds has led to the implementation of gull control procedures at many seabird colonies. However, the extent to which reducing gull numbers benefits other species has received little rigorous scientific investigation. 2. During a gull control programme (1972-89), gull nest density on the Isle of May, south-east Scotland, was reduced by between 30% and 100% in different sections of the island. Following termination of the original programme in 1989, several sections were maintained as gull-free by repeated removal of nests. 3. We used data collected over a 23-year period to determine the extent to which the spatial variation in puffin Fratercula arctica recruitment was influenced by changes in the density and spatial distribution of breeding gulls resulting from the control programme. 4. The presence of breeding gulls significantly affected the pattern of recruitment of puffins to the colony. Puffin recruitment rate was highest in the sections of the island where gull nest density was low. Gull density explained 21% of the variation in puffin recruitment rate. 5. These results suggest that the reduction in the number of breeding gulls substantially increased the attractiveness of areas of the colony as breeding sites for puffins, and is thus likely to have played an important role in the pattern of expansion of the puffin population on the island. 6. Synthesis and applications. Following a recent increase in the conservation status of both herring L. argentatus and lesser black-backed gulls L. fuscus , there has been a move to make management decisions more objective. This has highlighted the need for studies such as this, aimed at assessing the impact of gulls and their removal on other breeding birds, to ensure that any future control programmes are both necessary and effective.

Citations

32 citations in Web of Science®
28 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

2 downloads since deposited on 30 Apr 2012
0 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
590 Animals (Zoology)
Language:English
Date:June 2003
Deposited On:30 Apr 2012 08:26
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:17
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN:0021-8901
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2664.2003.00810.x
Other Identification Number:ISI:000183283400011
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-53674

Download

[img]
Content: Published Version
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 207kB
View at publisher

TrendTerms

TrendTerms displays relevant terms of the abstract of this publication and related documents on a map. The terms and their relations were extracted from ZORA using word statistics. Their timelines are taken from ZORA as well. The bubble size of a term is proportional to the number of documents where the term occurs. Red, orange, yellow and green colors are used for terms that occur in the current document; red indicates high interlinkedness of a term with other terms, orange, yellow and green decreasing interlinkedness. Blue is used for terms that have a relation with the terms in this document, but occur in other documents.
You can navigate and zoom the map. Mouse-hovering a term displays its timeline, clicking it yields the associated documents.

Author Collaborations