Estimates of numbers of kelp gulls and Kerguelen and Antarctic terns breeding at the Prince Edward Islands, 1996/1997–2008/2009

  • PA Whittington
  • RJM Crawford
  • BM Dyer
  • PG Ryan

Abstract

Breeding numbers of Laridae and other surface-nesting seabirds have been monitored at sub-Antarctic Marion Island since 1996/1997 and counts of breeding birds were made at nearby Prince Edward Island in December 2001 and December 2008. Four species are regular breeders at the islands: Subantarctic skua Catharacta antarctica, kelp gull Larus dominicanus, Antarctic tern Sterna vittata and Kerguelen tern S. virgata. The latter three species currently each have populations of below 150 breeding pairs at the islands. Kelp gull numbers appear to be relatively stable though they may have decreased since the 1980s. Kerguelen tern numbers decreased and then recovered at Marion Island, but numbers of the species have declined at Prince Edward Island and it maintains a tenuous foothold there. The small Antarctic tern population appears to be stable.

Keywords: Antarctic tern; kelp gull; Kerguelen tern; population trend; Prince Edward Islands

African Journal of Marine Science 2009, 31(3): 439–444

Author Biographies

PA Whittington
East London Museum, PO Box 11021, Southernwood 5213, South Africa;  Department of Zoology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, PO Box 77000, Port Elizabeth 6031, South Africa
RJM Crawford
Marine and Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs, Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa; Animal Demography Unit, Department of Zoology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
BM Dyer
Marine and Coastal Management, Department of Environmental Affairs, Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa
PG Ryan
Percy FitzPatrick Institute, DST/NRF Centre of Excellence, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, South Africa
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1814-2338
print ISSN: 1814-232X