Seabird populations are declining worldwide. Two major causes of decline are non-native predators and seabird (indirect or direct) overexploitation; these have been suspected but not assessed in the Caribbean region, including in the southern Grenadine islands. Using cameras, questionnaire surveys, and nest monitoring, I explored the potential of invasive predator presence and seabird harvest in affecting nesting productivity of five species in five uninhabited islands during 2014–2017. Overall, nesting productivity increased (n = 567 nests) despite the confirmed presence of non-native rats. However, my survey of Grenada residents (n = 32 responses) and physical evidence found on the islands (e.g., gun shells) suggest that seabird harvest still occur and may be responsible for previous declines. Additionally, most contributors to harvest did not seem aware of any seabird-protective laws. Therefore, I recommend establishing a community-based monitoring program that educates and empowers residents to prevent seabird harvest and continue nest monitoring.
|Commitee:||Boves, Than, Kendig, Sara, Sikkel, Paul|
|School:||Arkansas State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Arkansas|
|Source:||MAI 58/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Zoology, Environmental science|
|Keywords:||Colony estimates, Grenadine seabird, Hatching success, Nesting performance, Non-native rats, Seabird harvest|
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