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Survival estimates of adult Sooty Terns Sterna fuscata from Bird Island, Seychelles

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Abstract:

Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata populations on the Seychelles Islands have been exploited for human consumption of their eggs for at least the last 75 years. This has led to concern about possible declines in these populations. To address these concerns, the Seychelles Government has instituted a research and management plan to ensure the sustainability of the egg harvest. The harvest model, upon which current harvest regulations are based, was constructed with an assumed adult survival rate because there are no published Sooty Tern survival rate estimates. We fill this knowledge gap and address this assumption. We estimated adult Sooty Tern survival to be 0.91 ( = 0.01), which was close to the estimate used in the model. This estimate is also comparable with other seabird survival estimates. In the future this estimate could be improved with higher recapture rates. In addition, further advances in models for estimating probabilities of age at first breeding, prebreeder survival and population growth should be used to best effect, by making appropriate improvements to the ring search protocol, to provide further feedback to the management programme.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1474-919x.2004.00288.x

Affiliations: 1: WildWings Bird Management, 2 North View Cottages, Grayswood Common, Haslemere, Surrey GU27 2 DN, UK and Department of Pure and Applied Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9TJ, UK 2: Department of Fishery and Wildlife Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1474, USA

Publication date: July 1, 2004

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