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Differential responses of guillemot Uria aalge and shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis to a late winter wreck.

Harris, M.P.; Wanless, S.. 1996 Differential responses of guillemot Uria aalge and shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis to a late winter wreck. Bird Study, 43 (2). 220-230. 10.1080/00063659609461014

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Abstract/Summary

The main species involved in a wreck of seabirds along the east coast of Britain in February-March 1994 were Guillemot Uria aalge (20-50 000 corpses) and Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis (3-5000 corpses). The wreck was caused by a long period of onshore winds and, possibly, a shortage of food. On the Isle of May the start of breeding in the Guillemot was delayed by 5-10 days but the wreck had no determinable effect on the survival of adults or immatures, colony counts or breeding success. There was a high mortality among adult Shags and only 13% of 150 colour-ringed individuals alive in 1993 returned in 1994. This return rate was far lower than that recorded during the last 30 years (75-82%). None of the missing birds returned in 1995 and most are presumed dead. The start of breeding was delayed and the date of the first egg was 51 days later than that predicted from a usually reliable equation linking laying date with wind and Herring stocks, but median laying date, breeding success and growth of chicks were all well within the normal range. The Isle of May population crashed to its lowest level for 35 years and, unless there is substantial immigration, it will take 10 years for it to recover.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1080/00063659609461014
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Other
CEH Sections: _ Pre-2000 sections
ISSN: 0006-3657
Additional Keywords: Uria, Phalocrocorax, Rissa, Sterna, Alca, Fratercula, Isle of May
NORA Subject Terms: Zoology
Date made live: 09 Dec 2010 16:59
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/12666

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