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Further changes to the breeding seabirds of Lancelin Island, Western Australia


A new colony of Common Noddies Anous stolidus on Lancelin Island 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 percent increase in 1998/99. However in 1999/00 the number of breeding pairs dropped by around 40%. 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 3rd year. Survival to recruitment age was estimated to 18.5 and 20% for two cohorts present in the colony in 1999/00. The demographic characteristics of the Lancelin Island Noddy colony are discussed Sooty Terns Sterna fuscata were observed over Lancelin Island in the 1996/97 and 1997/98 seasons and started breeding near the Noddy colony in November 1998. The 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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