Les hommes ont oublié cette vérité. Mais tu ne dois pas l'oublier, dit le renard. Tu deviens responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé.
Le Petit Prince, chap. 21

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Mongooses may be more dangerous predator than cats to burrowing seabirds

DUFFY, D. C. & CAPECE, P.I. 2014. Depredation of endangered burrowing seabirds in Hawai’i: management priorities. Marine Ornithology 42: 149–152.

Small Indian Mongooses Herpestes javanicus have until recently been absent from the island of Kaua’i, Hawai’i. In anticipation of required management, we examine evidence that mongooses may be a significantly more dangerous predator than cats Felis catus for burrowing seabirds, particularly the endangered Hawaiian Petrel Pterodroma sandwichensis and threatened Newell’s Shearwater Puffinus newelli. Mongooses are small enough to enter burrows, allowing them to take eggs, nestlings and adults. In contrast, cats appear too broad to enter any but the widest burrows, so they tend to attack adults and young when these come to the burrow mouth. Given that these seabird species no longer persist in any numbers at low elevations on islands where mongooses are present, and that Kaua’i is one of the lowest of the main Hawaiian islands, if resources are limited, local control or eradication of mongooses would be a higher priority for management than control of cats or rats Rattus spp., although control of just one predator might result in increases in the others. The most important management action is to keep mongooses off islands where they are not already established.

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