Individual study: Effects of feral cat Felis catus eradication and black rat Rattus rattus control on sooty terns Onychoprion fuscata nesting at Waterside and Mars Bay, Ascension Island
Hughes B.J., Martin G.M. & Reynolds S.J. (2008) Cats and seabirds: effects of feral domestic cat Felis silvestris catus eradication on the population of sooty terns Onychoprion fuscata on Ascension Island, South Atlantic. Ibis, 122-131
This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.
Control mammalian predators on islands for seabirds
A before-and-after study over 17 years (1990-2007) on Ascension Island (88 km2), South Atlantic (Hughes et al. 2008), found that the sooty tern Onychoprion fuscata population increased (though not significantly) from 302,000-417,000 birds (1990 and 2001) to 420,000 (2007), following feral cat Felis catus eradication in 2002-4. The authors note that no increase would be expected until 2008 due to the breeding cycle of the terns. Predation by cats fell from 33 birds/night (early 1990s) to zero birds/night (2003), and overall nesting success rose from 54% of 233 nests to 68% of 656 nests. Following cat eradication, there was a significant increase in the number of tern chicks being predated by rats, from zero prior to cat eradication (473 days of monitoring) to 46% of 200 chicks ringed in 2005 (40 days of monitoring). Cats were removed through poisoning (with 1080 sodium monofluoroacetate), trapping and other methods (started in 2002, completed 2004).