Short Note

Polar Biology

, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 1239-1241

First online:

Low breeding success and sharp population decline at the largest known Falkland skua colony

  • Paulo CatryAffiliated withEco-Ethology Research Unit, ISPAMuseu Nacional de História Natural, Rua da Escola Politécnica Email author 
  • , Ana AlmeidaAffiliated withEco-Ethology Research Unit, ISPA
  • , Miguel LecoqAffiliated withEco-Ethology Research Unit, ISPA
  • , José Pedro GranadeiroAffiliated withCESAM, Museu Nacional de História Natural, Rua da Escola Politécnica
  • , Rafael MatiasAffiliated withEco-Ethology Research Unit, ISPACentre for Ecology and Conservation, School of Biosciences, University of Exeter

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The Falkland skua Stercorarius antarctica antarctica is a poorly known seabird. Demographic studies at the largest known colony of this taxon revealed a sharp population decline (47%) in just 5 years, between 2004 and 2009. The decline seems to be linked with a chronic low breeding success in the recent years and is consistent with a situation of virtually zero recruitment. The ultimate causes of the decline are, as of yet, unknown, but plausible explanations are examined and discussed. The reported population trends should be the cause of some concern, and more research and monitoring are desired.


New Island Falkland Islands Brown skua Striated caracara Phalcoboenus australis