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Notes on the Ecological and Natural History of Pabbay, and Other Islands in the Sound of Harris, Outer Hebrides

Charles Elton
Journal of Ecology
Vol. 26, No. 2 (Aug., 1938), pp. 275-297
DOI: 10.2307/2256248
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2256248
Page Count: 25
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Notes on the Ecological and Natural History of Pabbay, and Other Islands in the Sound of Harris, Outer Hebrides
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Abstract

In August 1935 an ecological reconnaissance was made of the small Isle of Pabbay, in the Sound of Harris, Outer Hebrides, with special reference to the mammals, and to evidence of former woodland on the island. Since the evacuation of the inhabitants about a hundred years ago, the island has reverted to pasture for a large number of sheep, cattle, and red deer (introduced about fifty years ago). The richness of the pasture is associated with the absence of rabbits. The small mammals are the Hebridean mouse (Apodemus hebridensis) and the pigmy shrew (Sorex minutus), which occur on the larger islands of the Outer Hebrides. Certain peculiarities in the rest of the fauna were noted. In the Sound of Harris there is a rich marine fauna, which forms the food of many seals and sea birds. Except for lobster fishing, there is little human fishing activity in this area. The submerged forest described by Martin in 1703 was examined and found to be birch (Betula alba). In the center of the island there are remains of hazel (Corylus Avellana) under peat. Pollen from these peats was examined by Mr M. Y. Orr, who gives a report. There is much evidence of submerged woodland in the region of Harris Sound, also that some of the former birch and hazel woods on the mainland of Lewis survived into historical times. The markedly woodland aspect of the mammal fauna of these islands is interesting in this connexion.

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