Volume 47, No. 1



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Eastern coyote Canis latrans predation on adult and pre-fledgling Northern Gannets Morus bassanus nesting on mainland cliffs at Cape St. Mary's, Newfoundland, Canada


Authors

WILLIAM MONTEVECCHI1, KYRAN POWER2, EDNA WHITE2, CHRIS MOONEY2, WANDA CAREEN2, LEANNE GUZZWELL1, JESSIKA LAMARRE1, MATT AEBERHARD3 & JONATHAN FIELY3

1Psychology Department, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, NL A1C 3X7, Canada (mont@mun.ca)
2Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve, St. Bride's, NL A0B 2Z0, Canada
3Multimedia Department, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA


Received 17 October 2018, accepted 6 November 2018

Date Published: 2019/04/15
Date Online: 2018/12/08


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Citation

MONTEVECCHI, W., POWER, K., WHITE, E., MOONEY, C., GUZZWELL, L., LAMARRE, J., AEBERHARD, M. & FIELY, J. 2019. Eastern coyote Canis latrans predation on adult and pre-fledgling Northern Gannets Morus bassanus nesting on mainland cliffs at Cape St. Mary's, Newfoundland, Canada. Marine Ornithology 47: 39-42.


Key words: coyotes, Northern Gannets, seabirds nesting on mainland, predation, invasive species, natural selection, Newfoundland


Abstract

We document the first evidence of predation by invasive eastern coyotes Canis latrans on breeding seabirds on the island of Newfoundland, Canada. We detail kills of 110 Northern Gannets Morus bassanus (50 adults, 60 large pre-fledgling chicks) nesting on mainland cliffs at the Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve. During nocturnal predation, late in the Northern Gannets' nesting season (September/October), coyotes killed 68 birds (30 adults, 38 large pre-fledgling chicks) in 2016 and 42 birds (20 adults, 22 pre-fledgling chicks) in 2018. Most birds were killed by bites to the head and cranial punctures. Approximately one-quarter of the birds were partially (pectoral muscle) or fully consumed. Based on carcass condition, it appeared that coyotes killed, consumed, and left intact gannets for one week or longer. Although coyotes are not a significant threat to seabirds, they could increase selection pressure on seabirds nesting at mainland sites. Coyote-seabird interactions are likely to increase as the canids venture to coastal seabird nesting areas and islands. 


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