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Impact of rats on seabirds

Tony Gaston, June 28, 2015

All: In the course of a recent review of rat-seabird interactions in Haida Gwaii, Canada, I have noticed that rats (R rattus & R Norvegicus) do not seem to have had much, if any, impact on Pigeon Guillemot numbers. Likewise, at one colony, there appeared to be no impact of R. rattus on Cassin's Auklet numbers. Does anyone else have examples of seabirds coexisting with rats on relatively small islands (<1000 ha)? Thanks

Comments ( 1 )

Michiel Boeken

I followed some colonies of Red-billed Tropicbird (Phaeton aethereus) on the island Saba (Caribbean Netherlands, about 1300 ha) for two years. One of them was heavily predated by feral cats (no chick survived the first week after hatching), the other much less. In both colonies many rats (R. norvegicus) were present, but was very little egg loss, and as far as I could find no loss of chicks due to rats. On nearby St. Eustatius some egg loss due to rats was found, perhaps Hannah Madden can tell about it.

best, Michiel