Report 474
Canna Seabird Studies 2004-2015
(2004-2015)
Swann, R.L.
The Seabird Monitoring Programme has established a UK and Ireland-wide network of colonies in which seabird numbers and breeding success are monitored regularly.

Summary

 
The Seabird Monitoring Programme has established a UK and Ireland-wide network of colonies in which seabird numbers and breeding success are monitored regularly. Additional parameters, such as survival, phenology and chick diet, are more time consuming to measure but provide important information on the state of seabird populations and the health of the wider marine environment.

 

In order to collect this important, yet time consuming data, four 'Key Site' colonies have been targeted for more detailed monitoring of breeding performance, annual survival rates and feeding ecology.  These sites are geographically spread in order to give as full coverage as possible of British waters.  These sites are:

  • Skomer Island (Wales);
  • Isle of May (eastern Scotland;
  • Isle of Canna (western Scotland); and
  • Fair Isle (northern Scotland).

Each year, those contracted to carry out the Key Site data collection submit an Annual Report to JNCC documenting the findings of the year’s seabird breeding season.

 

Canna

The Island of Canna (and adjoining Sanday) is located off the west coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides. Canna is owned and managed by The National Trust for Scotland and was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1987 for the island’s biological and geological features.  Following this, Canna was also designated as a Special Protected Area in 1997 for the internationally important concentrations of breeding seabird species. Shags, black-legged kittewakes, puffins, razorbills, common and black guillemots, and fulmars all breed on the island and historically Manx shearwaters were also recorded.

The seabird populations present on Isle of Canna have been declining for several years.  Rats are known seabird predators and, in addition to other factors, were identified as influencing this decline on Canna.  Between August 2005 and April 2006, the Seabird Recovery Project on the Isle of Canna (including the Isle of Sanday) was successful in eradicating brown rats.

The Highland Ringing Group has been monitoring seabirds on the island the since 1968. From 1986, the Group has received funding from JNCC to continue monitoring of seabird numbers, breeding success, survival, phenology and diet as one of the Seabird Monitoring Programme’s Key Sites.
 

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Previous reports which are available online for the Canna Seabird Studies can be found at:

 

 
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Please cite as: Swann, R.L., (2004-2015), Canna Seabird Studies 2004-2015, JNCC Report 474