Recent changes in colony sizes of two seabird species in Scotland are not strongly influenced by Birds Directive status of the colony

Furness, R. W. (2022) Recent changes in colony sizes of two seabird species in Scotland are not strongly influenced by Birds Directive status of the colony. IBIS, (doi: 10.1111/ibi.13127) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Special Protection Areas (SPAs) designated under the EU Birds Directive have improved the conservation status of many terrestrial bird species in Europe, but protecting breeding sites may be less effective for highly mobile birds such as seabirds. Colony census data for Great Skuas Stercorarius skua and Great Black-backed Gulls Larus marinus in Scotland show that breeding numbers have fared no better in sites where these species are SPA breeding features and, counter-intuitively, the evidence indicates better performance in non-SPA colonies, most likely because non-SPA colonies are generally smaller so are less subject to density-dependent competition. The main drivers of population change are widespread rather than colony-based in these two species with recent reductions in carrying capacity. Many other seabird species are vulnerable to similar widespread pressures so seabird conservation strategy needs to focus on mitigating these pressures, as designation of seabird breeding sites as SPAs is not enough to ensure effective seabird conservation.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Furness, Professor Robert
Creator Roles:
Furness, R. W.Conceptualization, Formal analysis, Investigation, Methodology
Authors: Furness, R. W.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Biodiversity, One Health & Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:IBIS
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:0019-1019
ISSN (Online):1474-919X
Published Online:11 August 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in IBIS 2022
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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