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Human interference and gull predation in cormorant colonies

Authors
Journal
Biological Conservation
0006-3207
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Volume
8
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/0006-3207(75)90076-2

Abstract

Abstract The vulnerability of cormorant eggs and nestlings to gull predation is greatly increased by human intrusion into breeding colonies. Observations of the behaviour of double-crested cormorants ( Phalacrocorax auritus) and king shag ( P. albiventer) vis-à-vis the behaviour of great black-backed and herring gulls ( Larus marinus and L. argentatus) on the one hand and dolphin gulls ( Leucophaeus scoresbii) on the other indicate that certain predictable offensive and defensive interactions occur when breeding birds are disturbed. Knowledge of these behavioural patterns suggests that interference with normal breeding activities and the resulting reduction in productivity of cormorants can be minimised in colonies where human access is carefully regulated.

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