Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Effectiveness of disturbance methods and egg removal to deter large gulls Larus spp. from competing with nesting terns Sterna spp. on Coquet Island RSPB reserve, Northumberland, England

Published source details

Booth V. & Morrison P. (2010) Effectiveness of disturbance methods and egg removal to deter large gulls Larus spp. from competing with nesting terns Sterna spp. on Coquet Island RSPB reserve, Northumberland, England. Conservation Evidence, 7, 39-43


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Reduce inter-specific competition for nest sites of ground nesting seabirds by removing competitor species Bird Conservation

A before-and-after study from 1998-2001 and 2004-2008 (Booth & Morrison 2010) on Coquet Island, between 2000 and 2009 found that the disturbance regimes employed in Morrison & Allcorn 2006successfully reduced the number herring gulls Larus argentatus and lesser black-backed gulls L. fuscus nesting (approximately 250 pairs in 2002 vs. <20 in 2009) and allowed the recovery of four tern Sterna spp. populations (roseate terns S. dougallii: 36 pairs in 1998-2001 vs. 80 pairs in 2004-8; arctic tern S. paradisaea: 770 pairs vs. 1,070 pairs; common tern S. hirundo: 970 pairs vs. 1,100 pairs). The number of gulls remained at 10-20 pairs / year from 1980-96 but, following disturbance at the Isle of May and Farne Islands, increased by 445-920% from 1997-2000, whilst tern numbers declined. Sandwich terns S. sandvicensis declined between 1998-2001 (1,500 pairs) and 2004-8 (1,000 pairs) but the authors note that this is thought to be in the normal range of variation in the species