Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Impacts of piscivorous birds on salmonid populations and game fisheries in Scotland: a review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Author(s)

Catriona M Harris, J. Calladine, C.W. Wernham, K.J. Park

School/Research organisations

Abstract

The Scottish populations of salmonids are important both ecologically and economically. Game fisheries for Atlantic salmon Salmo salar, sea trout Salmo trutta trutta and brown trout Salmo trutta fari are all highly acclaimed and generate substantial levels of income for Scotland, but many populations are in decline and efforts are being made to ensure the future sustainability of these species. These declines have led to a focus On the impact of piscivorous bird predation on fish populations. The purpose of our review was to assess the evidence for population-level impacts on salmonid populations, and/or economic impacts on Scottish game fisheries of predation by the four primary UK freshwater piscivorous bird species: cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo, goosander Mergus merganser, red-breasted merganser Mergus serrator and grey heron Ardea cinerea. There is evidence that these birds can, in some situations, remove large numbers of fish from stocked and natural fisheries. However, a lack of information on fish population levels, the numbers and species composition of feeding birds, and robust calculations of fish consumption has hampered the conversion of the results of the existing studies into useful quantitative measures of impact. As a consequence, few studies have demonstrated any reductions in numbers of breeding fish or fish productivity due to predation by piscivorous birds, or direct economic loss to fisheries in Scotland. We support a previous recommendation for a reiterative procedure of modelling, experimentation and remodelling to assess the impacts of piscivorous birds on fisheries. Wide-scale Studies of the movements of piscivorous birds, their feeding locations in relation to river characteristics, and the factors that make fish particularly vulnerable to predation are seen as important areas for future research.

Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-411
Number of pages17
JournalWildlife Biology
Volume14
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

    Research areas

  • cormorant, economic losses, goosander, heron, predation, red-breasted merganser, salmon, trout, CORMORANTS PHALACROCORAX-CARBO, JUVENILE ATLANTIC SALMON, RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS, COLUMBIA RIVER, SALAR L., GREAT CORMORANTS, SCOTTISH RIVERS, OCEAN CLIMATE, TOP PREDATORS, SMOLT RUN

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Changes in the spatial distribution of acoustically derived Minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) tracks in response to navy training

    Harris, C. M., Martin, S., Martin, C., Helble, T., Henderson, E., Paxton, C. G. M. & Thomas, L., 11 Nov 2019, In : Aquatic Mammals. 45, 6, p. 661-674

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. From here and now to there and then: practical recommendations for extrapolating cetacean density surface models to novel conditions

    Bouchet, P. J-F., Miller, D. L., Roberts, J., Mannocci, L., Harris, C. M. & Thomas, L., 4 Sep 2019, University of St Andrews. 59 p. (CREEM Technical Report; no. 2019-1)

    Research output: Book/ReportOther report

  3. Behavioral responses of individual blue whales (Balaenoptera musculus) to mid-frequency military sonar

    Southall, B., DeRuiter, S., Friedlaender, A., Stimpert, A., Goldbogen, J., Hazen, E., Casey, C., Fregosi, S., Cade, D., Allen, A., Harris, C. M., Schorr, G., Moretti, D., Guan, S. & Calambokidis, J., Mar 2019, In : Journal of Experimental Biology. 222, 15 p., jeb190637.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  4. Marine mammals and sonar: dose-response studies, the risk-disturbance hypothesis and the role of exposure context

    Harris, C. M., Thomas, L., Falcone, E., Hildebrand, J., Houser, D., Kvadsheim, P., Lam, F-P. A., Miller, P., Moretti, D. J., Read, A., Slabbekoorn, H., Southall, B. L., Tyack, P. L., Wartzok, D. & Janik, V. M., Jan 2018, In : Journal of Applied Ecology. 55, 1, p. 396-404

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Related by journal

  1. Using PIT-tag technology to target supplementary feeding studies

    Newey, S., Allison, P., Thirgood, S. J., Smith, A. A. & Graham, I. M., Dec 2009, In : Wildlife Biology. 15, 4, p. 405-411

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Haulout patterns of grey seals Halichoerus grypus in the Baltic Sea

    Sjoberg, M., McConnell, B. & Fedak, M., Mar 1999, In : Wildlife Biology. 5, p. 37-47 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 416593

Top