Supplementary feeding does not increase reproductive success in south polar skuas Catharacta maccormicki on King George Island, Antactica

  • Published source details Ritz M.S., Hahn S. & Peter H.U. (2005) Factors affecting chick growth in the South Polar Skua (Catharacta maccormicki): food supply, weather and hatching date. Polar Biology, 29, 53-60


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide supplementary food for gulls, terns and skuas to increase reproductive success

Action Link
Bird Conservation
  1. Provide supplementary food for gulls, terns and skuas to increase reproductive success

    A randomised replicated and controlled trial on King George Island, Antarctic Peninsula, in the boreal summer of 2000-1 (Ritz et al. 2005) (as part of the same study as Ritz 2006) found that south polar skua Catharacta maccormicki (also known as Catharacta maccormicki) pairs provided with supplementary food did not raise significantly more chicks than control (unfed) pairs (average of 1.3 chicks/pair for 27 fed pairs vs. 1.5 chicks/pair for 27 controls). Supplementary food consisted of 25 g of fish provided to adults every other day when chicks were 6-35 days old and 100 g of fish when 35-55 days old. This corresponds to approximately 20% of a chick’s daily energy needs.


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