A major myna problem; invasive predator removal benefits female survival and population growth of a translocated island endemic

Brown, Thomas J., Hellicar, Max, Accouche, Wilna, van der Woude, Jildou, Dugdale, Hannah, Komdeur, Jan and Richardson, David S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7226-9074 (2023) A major myna problem; invasive predator removal benefits female survival and population growth of a translocated island endemic. Global Ecology and Conservation, 46. ISSN 2351-9894

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Invasive predators are a major driver of extinctions and continue to threaten native populations worldwide. Island eradications of (mostly mammalian) invasive predators have facilitated the reestablishment of numerous island-endemic populations. Other invasive taxa, such as some predatory birds, could pose a more persistent threat due to their ability to fly and actively re-invade even remote and isolated islands. However, the impact of invasive predatory birds has been largely overlooked. We report on a novel sex-specific impact of an invasive-nest predator, the common myna (Acridotheres tristis), on a reintroduced population of Seychelles warblers (Acrocephalus sechellensis); translocated from Cousin Island to Denis Island in 2004. Regular post-translocation monitoring revealed that female mortality was 20 % higher than males, leading to a 60–70 % male-biased population sex-ratio between 2005 and 2015. This was attributed to common mynas inflicting severe injuries to incubating female Seychelles warblers while attempting to prey upon eggs in their nests. These effects likely contributed to the slower-than-expected population growth observed (relative to previous translocations of Seychelles warblers to other islands) over the same period. An eradication programme beginning in 2011 removed all common mynas from Denis by 2015. Subsequently, we observed a balancing of sex-specific survival and the population sex-ratio of Seychelles warblers and, consequently, accelerated population growth. This study demonstrates the importance of assessing the threat posed by all invasive taxa (not just mammals) to island conservation. Furthermore, we show how extended monitoring is needed to identify problems, and develop solutions, post-translocation.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Organisms and the Environment
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2023 08:30
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2024 12:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/92666
DOI: 10.1016/j.gecco.2023.e02584


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