Predation on Yelkouan Shearwater

Life + Tavolara video predazione from AMP Tavolara Punta Coda Cavallo on Vimeo.

life tavolara from AMP Tavolara Punta Coda Cavallo on Vimeo.

Here are the incredible images captured by the infrared cameras in the Grotta dei Contrabbandieri cave on Tavolara as part of the LIFE+ Puffinus European Community project. On the evening of May 13 and the night of May 16, 2014, two Yelkouan Shearwater chicks were predated by Black Rats, a highly invasive species that is jeopardizing the breeding success of these seabirds. This is the first video evidence of predation on the islands of the Tavolara Marine Protected Area, and conclusively demonstrates the need for a conservation action aimed at limiting or eliminating this problem. Indeed, the Marine Protected Area hosts the world’s largest Yelkouan Shearwater population, and predation repeated over time would jeopardize the species’ future survival on a global scale. After predation, the adults stop visiting their nests and only come back the following year – they are faithful to their breeding site and this makes them more vulnerable to predation. During the coming breeding season, video cameras will make it possible to record the arrival of the adults and the first phases of the breeding cycle, which have never been filmed in this species.

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