The diet of Atlantic Yellow-legged Gulls (Larus michahellis atlantis) at an oceanic seabird colony: estimating predatory impact upon breeding petrels

The diet of Atlantic Yellow-legged Gulls (Larus michahellis atlantis) at an oceanic seabird... The diet and breeding ecology of Yellow-legged Gulls (Larus michahellis atlantis) were studied on Selvagem Grande, North Atlantic in the nesting season of 2007. We collected and analyzed 715 pellets from adults. The most frequent prey were White-faced Storm-petrels (Pelagodroma marina; present on 40.8% of all pellets) and the endemic land snails (Theba macandrewiana; present on 36.5% of all pellets). Other birds, namely Cory’s Shearwaters (Calonectris diomedea), Macaronesian Shearwaters (Puffinus assimilis), Bulwer’s Petrels (Bulweria bulwerii), and Band-rumped Storm-petrels (Oceanodroma castro) were relatively less frequent, but overall, seabirds were present in ca. 50% of all pellets, representing an estimated 60.4% of all mass consumed by gulls. We estimate that the contribution of seabirds to the overall caloric balance accounted for 82.5% of all energy consumed. The number of gull pairs breeding on Selvagem Grande was 12 on 2005 and 2007. Breeding success was low (0.92 and 0.25 juveniles per breeding pair, respectively). Using a simple bioenergetics model, we estimate the breeding gull population to have the potential to consume approximately 4,847 adult/sub-adult seabirds in 3.5 months in order to meet its energetic requirements. The importance of the estimated predation levels is discussed and some management actions are suggested. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Wildlife Research Springer Journals

The diet of Atlantic Yellow-legged Gulls (Larus michahellis atlantis) at an oceanic seabird colony: estimating predatory impact upon breeding petrels

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer-Verlag
Subject
Life Sciences; Animal Ecology; Zoology
ISSN
1612-4642
eISSN
1439-0574
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10344-010-0384-y
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The diet and breeding ecology of Yellow-legged Gulls (Larus michahellis atlantis) were studied on Selvagem Grande, North Atlantic in the nesting season of 2007. We collected and analyzed 715 pellets from adults. The most frequent prey were White-faced Storm-petrels (Pelagodroma marina; present on 40.8% of all pellets) and the endemic land snails (Theba macandrewiana; present on 36.5% of all pellets). Other birds, namely Cory’s Shearwaters (Calonectris diomedea), Macaronesian Shearwaters (Puffinus assimilis), Bulwer’s Petrels (Bulweria bulwerii), and Band-rumped Storm-petrels (Oceanodroma castro) were relatively less frequent, but overall, seabirds were present in ca. 50% of all pellets, representing an estimated 60.4% of all mass consumed by gulls. We estimate that the contribution of seabirds to the overall caloric balance accounted for 82.5% of all energy consumed. The number of gull pairs breeding on Selvagem Grande was 12 on 2005 and 2007. Breeding success was low (0.92 and 0.25 juveniles per breeding pair, respectively). Using a simple bioenergetics model, we estimate the breeding gull population to have the potential to consume approximately 4,847 adult/sub-adult seabirds in 3.5 months in order to meet its energetic requirements. The importance of the estimated predation levels is discussed and some management actions are suggested.

Journal

European Journal of Wildlife ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Apr 21, 2010

References

  • Diet studies of seabirds: a review and recommendations
    Barrett, RT; Camphuysen, K; Anker-Nilssen, T; Chardine, JW; Furness, RW; Garthe, S; Hüppop, O; Leopold, MF; Montevecchi, WA; Veit, RR
  • Importance of landfills to nesting herring gulls
    Belant, JL; Seamans, TW; Gabrey, SW; Ickes, SK
  • Short-term effects of culling on the ecology and population dynamics of the yellow-legged gull
    Bosch, M; Oro, D; Cantos, FJ; Zabala, M

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