Modelling demography and extinction risk in the endangered Balearic shearwater

Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus) Science Article 1


Several demographic parameters of Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus) were estimated and used to model extinction probabilities for the species, which is an endemic seabird confined to a Mediterranean archipelago. Adult survival was analyzed through capture-recapture models at two colonies free of adult predators during 1997-2002. Extinction probabilities for the world breeding population were modelled using Monte Carlo simulations of population trajectories, introducing stochasticity both demographic and environmental. Adult survival estimate (0.780, SE=0.020, 95% Confidence Intervals: 0.739-0.816) was unusually low for a Procellariiform, suggesting that sources of mortality other than predators (e.g. fishing gears) also occur. A deterministic model showed a declining trend for the world breeding population (l=0.952), and significantly less than 1. Population viability analysis showed that in the presence of environmental and demographic stochasticities, mean extinction time for the world population was estimated at 40.4 years (SE=0.2), and mean growth rate showed a 7.4% decrease per year. Demographic stochasticity played a more important role than environmental stochasticity in population growth rate.

Daniel Oro, Juan Salvador Aguilar, Jose Manuel Igual, Maite Louzao, Biological Conservation 116 (2004) 93-102

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