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Intra-Colony Variation in Breeding Performance of Atlantic Puffins

Michael S. Rodway, John W. Chardine and William A. Montevecchi
Colonial Waterbirds
Vol. 21, No. 2 (1998), pp. 171-184
Published by: Waterbird Society
DOI: 10.2307/1521904
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1521904
Page Count: 14
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Intra-Colony Variation in Breeding Performance of Atlantic Puffins
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Abstract

Concern for the status of Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica) breeding populations in eastern Canada motivated a study of the factors influencing their breeding success. In this paper we report on the role of habitat, weather and predation as determinants or correlates of puffin breeding success on Great Island, Newfoundland in 1992-1993. We found that nest density was related to distance from shore, and that breeding success was related to distance from shore and to slope. Aspect was an important predictor of timing of breeding but was not related to breeding success. Thus, it appeared that preferred areas were close to shore, and optimal areas were on slopes. Above normal rainfall caused nest flooding that reduced hatching success and increased the mortality of young chicks, although not in a predictable manner in relation to the habitat categories used in this study. There was no evidence that gull predation reduced breeding success. In the absence of investigator disturbance, overall breeding success was similar to average values reported for British colonies.

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