Monitoring Scopoli's shearwaters nesting on Lampione

Lampione is an uninhabited islet which belongs to the Pelagie archipelago, it has a surface of 3,6 ha and it hosts one Scopoli’s shearwater colony made up of around 230 breeding pairs, the fourth in number among those breeding on Italian islets.

 

Here the anthropogenic disturbance is practically absent, moreover, there are no alien predators like domestic cats and rats. The main threat for the shearwaters is represented by the Yellow-legged gull (Larus michahellis) which preys on their chicks. These predation events cause the 80% of breeding failures. Throughout the years, we have attempted to understand the characteristics of the nests more exposed to gull predation and we have proven that those more open and less deep are the most vulnerable. So, we have renovated these nests lengthening or narrowing the entrance and in addition, we have built new nests using collapsed rocks. Indeed, the finding of numerous nests with two lay eggs shows that nest availability is lower than the number of breeding pairs attempting to nest on the islet. Following these interventions, we have recorded an increment of 15-20% in the shearwaters’ breeding success.

 

Project manager: Antonella di Gangi