FURTHER CHANGES TO THE BREEDING SEABIRDS OF LANCELIN ISLAND, WESTERN AUSTRALIA
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|| D. Mitchell, J. N. Dunlop
A new colony of Common Noddies Anous stolidus
on Lancelin Island, Western Australia, increased rapidly
from the nucleus of five nesting pairs first detected in January 1992. The growth in the number of breeding
pairs was exponential between the 1994/95 and 1997/98 seasons, slowing to a 30 per cent increase in 1998/99.
However, in 1999/00 the number of breeding pairs dropped by around 40 per cent.
Up until 1998/99 the accession of breeding pairs was effectively due to immigration. Natal recruitment by
three-year old Noddies was first observed in the 1998/99 season. Most natal recruits appear to start breeding in
their third year. Survival to recruitment age was estimated to be 18.5 per cent and 20 per cent for two cohorts
present in the colony in 1999/00. The demographic characteristics of the Lancelin Island Noddy colony are
Sooty Terns Sterns fuscata
were observed over Lancelin Island in the 1996/97 and 1997/98 seasons and
started breeding near the Noddy colony in November 1998. T he Sooty Tern colony persisted and expanded in
the following season. Observed changes in the breeding seabirds of Lancelin Island are discussed in relation to
the wider phenomenon of shifting tropical seabird distribution and abundance in south-western Australia.
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