The Chatham Islands are the only place in New Zealand where brown skua and sheep farming overlap. Skua are reputed to attack newborn lambs and on this basis farmers are allowed to shoot skua on their land if damage occurs.
Chatham skua are resident year round and the estimated population is less than 200 birds. The birds breed on offshore (seabird) islands around the Chatham Island group but are regular visitors to the South west of Chatham Island and are present daily on Pitt Island where sheep are farmed.
A recent decline in sightings has raised concerns that a significant mortality event has occurred and that it may be compounded by stock protection activity in the spring.
The extent of any mortality event won't be apparent until skua start to breed, but in the meantime we'd like to start advocating for skua with the local community.
Are there other examples in Chile, Argentina or the Falklands where skua and sheep overlap and if so what problems occur and how have these been handled?
Any information appreciated.