The effect of age and year on the survival of breeding adult great skuas Catharacta skua in Shetland.

Ratcliffe, N., Catry, P., Hamer, K.C., Klomp, N.I. and Furness, R.W. (2002) The effect of age and year on the survival of breeding adult great skuas Catharacta skua in Shetland. IBIS, 144(3), pp. 384-392. (doi:10.1046/j.1474-919X.2002.00066.x)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1474-919X.2002.00066.x

Abstract

The survival rates of breeding adult Great Skuas Catharacta skua were examined at Foula, the largest colony in the world, where numbers have been declining since the late 1970s. Resightings of colour-ringed breeding adults over a 12-year period were analysed using Cormack-Jolly Seber models to estimate survival rates. Annual survival rates averaged 0.89 but varied among years between 0.82 and 0.93, with annual variations being temporally associated with variations in sandeel abundance during the breeding season. Most birds appeared to die outside the breeding season and so it is possible that nutritional stress and reproductive costs of breeding in years of poor food supply affect survivorship on migration or in the wintering range. Survival rates of adult Great Skuas were affected by their age according to a quadratic equation, with survival increasing significantly with age from 0.73 in 5-year-old-birds to between 0.85 and 0.96 in birds from 7 to 22 years old, with a sharp decline to between 0.75 and 0.87 in birds over 22 years old. Year effects were evident when controlling for age, indicating that annual variations in survival rates are not explained by changes in age-composition of the marked population among years.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Furness, Professor Bob
Authors: Ratcliffe, N., Catry, P., Hamer, K.C., Klomp, N.I., and Furness, R.W.
Subjects:Q Science > QL Zoology
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
Journal Name:IBIS
Publisher:Wiley, for the British Ornithologists' Union
ISSN:0019-1019

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