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First evidence of mouse attacks on adult albatrosses and petrels breeding on sub‑Antarctic Marion and Gough Islands

Citation

Jones, CW and Risi, MM and Cleeland, J and Ryan, PG, First evidence of mouse attacks on adult albatrosses and petrels breeding on sub‑Antarctic Marion and Gough Islands, Polar Biology, 42 pp. 619-623. ISSN 0722-4060 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2019 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature

DOI: doi:10.1007/s00300-018-02444-6

Abstract

Invasive house mice Mus musculus are significant predators of seabird chicks on islands where they are the only introduced mammal, but there are very few records of attacks on adult birds. We report the first evidence of mouse attacks on adult albatrosses and petrels breeding on Marion and Gough Islands, where there has been a recent increase in attacks on seabird chicks. In September 2017, wounds consistent with a mouse attack were recorded on an incubating adult male Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli on Marion Island. The nest was deserted, and breeding success within 500 m was 18% (n=11) compared to 68% at nests >500m away (n=123), suggesting that other incubating adults in the immediate vicinity also might have been affected. In March 2018, an incubating Tristan Albatross Diomedea dabbenena was found on Gough Island with a typical mouse wound on its rump. The egg hatched and the same bird was later seen brooding and feeding the chick. In October 2018, an incubating Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche chlororhynchos was found on Gough Island with a wound on its back suggestive of a mouse attack and 23 freshly dead carcasses of this species were found, next to empty nests, in nearby colonies. These observations add to mounting evidence of the impacts of mice on seabirds, and further support calls to eradicate mice from Marion and Gough Islands.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Mus musculus, eradication, adult predation, Macronectes halli, Diomedea dabbenena, Thalassarche chlororhynchos
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Conservation and Biodiversity
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas
Objective Field:Protected Conservation Areas in Antarctic and Sub-Antarctic Environments
UTAS Author:Cleeland, J (Miss Jaimie Cleeland)
ID Code:137970
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2020-03-17
Last Modified:2020-05-25
Downloads:0

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