Seabird recovery on Lundy: population change in Manx Shearwaters and other seabirds in response to the eradication of rats

Published on 09 April 2019 in Main articles

By Helen Booker, David Price, Peter Slader, Tim Frayling, Tom Williams and Mark Bolton

Abstract Lundy once supported large numbers of breeding seabirds, but declines during the twentieth century left the island with only remnants of its former colonies. One major concern during this time was the impact of rat predation on eggs and chicks, especially of burrow-nesting Manx Shearwaters Puffinus puffinus and Puffins Fratercula arctica. A major project to eradicate rats from Lundy was completed in the spring of 2004. This paper examines the latest Manx Shearwater survey and how the species has responded since rats were eradicated, and sets this into the context of how the overall status of seabirds on Lundy has changed over the last 15 years. 

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Surveying Manx Shearwater burrows along the east coast of Lundy, June 2018. Helen Booker