Annual variation in breeding numbers of two gull species in response to regional stock size and local availability of Japanese Sand Lance on Rishiri Island, Northern Japan

Kentaro Kazama, Masahiko Sato, Kazuki Kosugi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Breeding population abundance such as colony size of seabirds is not generally considered to be particularly sensitive to the annual dynamics of the food conditions because of the long life-span and high adult survival rate. However, in seabird species in which adults decide to breed or not depending on the food conditions, population abundance can respond sensitively to the annual variation in the food conditions. Here, we examine the effects of the regional annual stock abundance of Japanese Sand Lance Ammodytes personatus, and their local temporal availability during the egg-laying period on the size of a Black-tailed Gull Larus crassirostris and Slatybacked Gull L. schistisagus, breeding colony over 12 years on Rishiri Island, northern Japan. The total number of nests of both gull species increased significantly with the regional annual stock abundance, but not with the local temporal availability of the sand lance. The number of Black-tailed Gull nests without eggs was significantly higher in the year with lower local temporal availability indicating that more Black-tailed Gull parents gave up egg-laying after nest building. Colony size in these species can be a useful indicator reflecting local food conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalOrnithological Science
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Feb 5
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bio indicator
  • Breeding decision
  • Nest abandonment
  • Prey availability
  • Sabbatical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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