Deconstructing myths on large gulls and their impact onthreatened sympatric waterbirds

Yellow-legged Gull (Larus cachinnans) Science Article 2

abstract

Owing to increasing population trends and facultative predatory habits, large gullshave been identified as significant agents of change in the alteration of manyecological communities. Often, they are perceived as negatively impacting thepopulation trends of most sympatric waterbirds. Consequently, culling programshave been implemented to remove adults, chicks and eggs intensively. Here, wereview the interactions recorded in the literature between the yellow-legged gullLarus michahellis and 10 sympatric waterbirds in the Mediterranean region, allthreatened and classified as species of conservation concern. We also used177 long-term population trends derived from previous studies to study thepopulation dynamics of these species and the culling effort performed. We showthat gulls negatively affected survival, fecundity, foraging ecology and nestinghabitat availability for many species.

D. Oro & A. Mart

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