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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Impact on nesting seabirds of campaign to eradicate feral cats Felis catus from Ascension Island

Published source details

Ratcliffe N., Bell M., Pelembe T., Boyle D., Benjamin R., White R., Godley B., Stevenson J. & Sanders S. (2010) The eradication of feral cats from Ascension Island and its subsequent recolonization by seabirds. Oryx, 44, 20-29


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Control mammalian predators on islands for seabirds Bird Conservation

A before-and-after study on Ascension Island (88km2), South Atlantic (Ratcliffe et al. 2010) found that five species of ground-nesting seabird recolonised the island in small but increasing numbers, following the eradication of cats Felis catus in 2004: white-tailed tropicbird Phaethon lepturus (25 pairs in 2007), red-billed tropicbird Phaethon aethereus eight pairs), brown noddy Anous stolidus (79 pairs), masked booby Sula dactylatra (152 pairs) and brown booby Sula leucogastor (29 pairs). All recolonising populations were small (less than 18% of the population breeding in cat-inaccessible sites in 2002) and breeding success for boobies and brown noddy was lower than other populations. The study also found that sooty tern Onychoprion fuscata numbers increased (see reference Hughes 2008). Cats were poisoned with 1080 sodium monofluoroacetate and trapped (488 cats poisoned, 70 captured in live traps, nine caught in various methods).