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Nest desertion: An anti-predator strategy of the Australian Fairy Tern Sternula nereis nereis

Greenwell, C.N., Dunlop, J.N. and Loneragan, N.R. (2019) Nest desertion: An anti-predator strategy of the Australian Fairy Tern Sternula nereis nereis. Marine Ornithology, 47 (2). pp. 193-197.

Abstract

This study describes nest desertion as a probable but previously undescribed anti-predator strategy for the Australian Fairy Tern Sternula nereis nereis. Deserted nests were observed at night for up to nine nights following the laying of the first eggs at a colony in southwestern Australia. Nocturnal nest desertion may provide the terns with a mechanism for assessing the occurrence of potential nest predators, maintaining reproductive synchrony, and reducing the total time a colony is detectable by predators. Additionally, temporary diurnal nest desertion for up to 80 minutes was observed following the predation of an adult tern. Diurnal nest desertion may be used to reduce the risk of adult mortality and, consequently, decrease colony visibility, thereby increasing reproductive success.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems
Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Marine Ornithology
Copyright: © 2019 Marine Ornithology
Publishers Website: http://www.marineornithology.org/content/get.cgi?r...
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/52273
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