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Predation of greater crested tern (Thalasseus bergii) eggs by juvenile brown boobies (Sula leucogaster) on Ashmore Reef


Lavers, JL and Herrod, A and Clarke, RH, Predation of greater crested tern (Thalasseus bergii) eggs by juvenile brown boobies (Sula leucogaster) on Ashmore Reef, Waterbirds, 37, (2) pp. 215-219. ISSN 1524-4695 (2014) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2014 Waterbird Society

DOI: doi:10.1675/063.037.0210


As young seabirds approach independence, a range of tactics are sometimes employed in an attempt to secure additional food items prior to departing the nest. Detailed here are previously unreported kleptoparasitic and predatory behaviors of juvenile Brown Boobies (Sula leucogastei) on Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. From 1420 November 2013, the number of Greater Crested Terns (Thalasseus bergii) breeding adjacent to a Brown Booby colony was reduced from 128 adults attending the colony to 59 adults. During this time, two juvenile Brown Boobies were observed depredating the eggs of the Greater Crested Terns and ingesting prey regurgitated by Greater Crested Terns. The factors that lead to this unusual foraging behavior in juvenile Brown Boobies are not known; however, low body mass and hunger may play a role. Repeated years of predation of Greater Crested Tern eggs by Brown Boobies could lead to the abandonment of this colony.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:marine ecology, ornithology
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
ID Code:98017
Year Published:2014
Deposited By:IMAS Research and Education Centre
Deposited On:2015-01-28
Last Modified:2017-11-01

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