Are artificial burrows efficient conservation tools for seabirds? A case study of two sympatric shearwaters on neighbouring islands and guidelines for improvement

Are artificial burrows efficient conservation tools for seabirds? A case study of two sympatric... Seabirds are one of the most threatened animal taxa worldwide as they have to deal with threats both at sea and on their breeding grounds. One of these threats is the loss and deterioration of their nesting habitat. Here, we evaluated the long-term effectiveness of providing artificial burrows for the conservation of Yelkouan (Puffinus yelkouan) and Scopoli's (Calonectris diomedea) shearwaters on two islands of the Hyères archipelago (Mediterranean, France). We estimated and compared the longevity, occupancy of and breeding success in artificial burrows and natural cavities. We also analysed factors affecting these three parameters in artificial burrows to optimize their installation for the conservation of our study species. Although their efficacy depended on the species and the island considered, artificial burrows provided more stable and persistent breeding habitat (12-years persistence: 80% vs. 72%), allowed the recruitment of new breeders and good reproductive success (49–76%), and probably reduced inter-specific competition for nesting cavities, across the two islands. The characteristics of both artificial burrows and the areas where they were installed affected artificial burrow efficacy in terms of longevity and occupancy by shearwaters. Thus, artificial burrows were successful tools for the conservation of these two Mediterranean species of shearwaters, particularly when their design and installation were optimized by limiting the risk of their destruction and by selecting burrow and habitat characteristics that enhance their occupancy by the target species. The evaluation of such conservation measures should be performed for every species and site to help managers design and implement effective conservation plans. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Biological Conservation Elsevier

Are artificial burrows efficient conservation tools for seabirds? A case study of two sympatric shearwaters on neighbouring islands and guidelines for improvement

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
ISSN
0006-3207
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.biocon.2015.07.002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Seabirds are one of the most threatened animal taxa worldwide as they have to deal with threats both at sea and on their breeding grounds. One of these threats is the loss and deterioration of their nesting habitat. Here, we evaluated the long-term effectiveness of providing artificial burrows for the conservation of Yelkouan (Puffinus yelkouan) and Scopoli's (Calonectris diomedea) shearwaters on two islands of the Hyères archipelago (Mediterranean, France). We estimated and compared the longevity, occupancy of and breeding success in artificial burrows and natural cavities. We also analysed factors affecting these three parameters in artificial burrows to optimize their installation for the conservation of our study species. Although their efficacy depended on the species and the island considered, artificial burrows provided more stable and persistent breeding habitat (12-years persistence: 80% vs. 72%), allowed the recruitment of new breeders and good reproductive success (49–76%), and probably reduced inter-specific competition for nesting cavities, across the two islands. The characteristics of both artificial burrows and the areas where they were installed affected artificial burrow efficacy in terms of longevity and occupancy by shearwaters. Thus, artificial burrows were successful tools for the conservation of these two Mediterranean species of shearwaters, particularly when their design and installation were optimized by limiting the risk of their destruction and by selecting burrow and habitat characteristics that enhance their occupancy by the target species. The evaluation of such conservation measures should be performed for every species and site to help managers design and implement effective conservation plans.

Journal

Biological ConservationElsevier

Published: Nov 1, 2015

References

  • The use of artificial breeding chambers as a conservation measure for cavity-nesting Procellariiform seabirds: a case study of the Madeiran storm petrel (Oceanodroma castro)
    Bolton, M.; Medeiros, R.; Hothersall, B.; Campos, A.
  • Top-predator control on islands boosts endemic prey but not mesopredator
    Bonnaud, E.; Zarzoso-Lacoste, D.; Bourgeois, K.; Ruffino, L.; Legrand, J.; Vidal, E.
  • Survival analysis of a critical resource for cavity-nesting communities: patterns of tree cavity longevity
    Edworthy, A.B.; Wiebe, K.L.; Martin, K.
  • Rat control and breeding performance in Cory's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea): effects of poisoning effort and habitat features
    Igual, J.M.; Forero, M.G.; Gomez, T.; Oruetas, J.F.; Oro, D.
  • Nest boxes: a successful management tool for the conservation of an endangered seabird
    Libois, E.; Gimenez, O.; Oro, D.; Mínguez, E.; Pradel, R.; Sanz-Aguilar, A.
  • Translocations of eight species of burrow-nesting seabirds (genera Pterodroma, Pelecanoides, Pachyptila and Puffinus: Family Procellariidae)
    Miskelly, C.M.; Taylor, G.A.; Gummer, H.; Williams, R.
  • Is the Yelkouan shearwater Puffinus yelkouan threatened by low adult survival probabilities?
    Oppel, S.; Raine, A.F.; Borg, J.J.; Raine, H.; Bonnaud, E.; Bourgeois, K.; Breton, A.R.
  • Do conservation managers use scientific evidence to support their decision-making?
    Pullin, A.S.; Knight, T.M.; Stone, D.A.; Charman, K.
  • The cost of reproduction and experience-dependent vital rates in a small petrel
    Sanz-Aguilar, A.; Tavecchia, G.; Pradel, R.; Mínguez, E.; Oro, D.
  • Contrasting age-specific recruitment and survival at different spatial scales: a case study with the European storm petrel
    Sanz-Aguilar, A.; Massa, B.; Lo Valvo, F.; Oro, D.; Mínguez, E.; Tavecchia, G.

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