Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Guillemots Turn Nasty

There is a report (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/sep/17/endangeredspecies.wildlife) that hungry Guillemots nesting on the cliffs of the Isle of May (Scotland) are turning on the chicks of neighbours that have been left alone by their parents (this used to be rare but applied to 60% of chicks last year) and, in some cases, pushing them to their deaths off the cliffs. This seems to be triggered by the 'lonely' chicks wandering off and attempting to solicit food from the neighbours. Some 70% of mortalities resulted from conspecific attack last year. The scientists have suggested that this phenomenon is linked to the declining fish stocks in the region.

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