An adaptive approach to managing gull predation at
seabird restoration sites in Maine
Tern and eider productivity was monitored and daily predation watches were performed at two seabird sanctuaries on the Maine coast. In 2003 and 2004 at Eastern Egg Rock (43˚52’N, 69˚23’W), less than five percent of all gulls residing on the island were predatory. Adult Herring (L. argentatus) and Great Black-backed (L. marinus) gulls were the principal predators, specializing on tern offspring and maintaining feeding territories within the colony. Common Tern (S. hirundo) chick survival varied according to hatch order, within-season temporal variation, daily chick age, minimum daytime visibility, and nest location. In 2004, eider duckling survival on Stratton Island (43˚31’N, 70˚19’W) was severely limited by opportunistic, group gull attacks. Plans for 2005 will emphasize non-lethal mitigation of gull predation at both sites.
Avian Science and Conservation Centre
McGill University, 21,111 Lakeshore Rd.
Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada H9X 3V9
Phone: (514) 398-7760 Fax: (514) 398-7990