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Abstract: Depredation of nests by native and introduced predators is contributing to the decline of beach-nesting shorebirds in many parts of Australia. Determining the relative importance of these predators is crucial for designing and implementing appropriate management strategies for shorebird conservation. We deployed and monitored 82 artificial Red-capped Plover 'Charadrius ruficapillus' nests, on six beaches within a 140-km stretch of the New South Wales Lower North Coast, to identify the main predators of beach-nesting shorebird nests and their relative importance. After 18 days, 53 (63%) artificial nests were depredated. Australian Ravens 'Corvus coronoides' and Forest Ravens 'C. tasmanicus' were the chief nest-predators, and were responsible for depredating 40 (49%) nests collectively. Comparatively few nests were depredated by European Red Foxes 'Vulpes vulpes', which depredated 8 (10%) nests. The rate of depredation (nests depredated/2 days) by ravens was greater than the rate of depredation by foxes (P <0.05). Other predators preyed upon 5 (5%) nests.

To cite this article: Rees, James D; Webb, Jonathan K; Crowther, Mathew S and Letnic, Mike. Ravens are a key threat to beach-nesting birds [online]. Australian Field Ornithology, Vol. 32, No. 2, Jun 2015: 100-107. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=237537248015265;res=IELHSS> ISSN: 1448-0107. [cited 30 Mar 17].

Personal Author: Rees, James D; Webb, Jonathan K; Crowther, Mathew S; Letnic, Mike; Source: Australian Field Ornithology, Vol. 32, No. 2, Jun 2015: 100-107 DOI: Document Type: Journal Article ISSN: 1448-0107 Subject: Birds--Nests; Shore birds; Birds--Identification; Birds--Type specimens; Ravens; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006, and School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
(2) School of Environmental Sciences, University of Technology Sydney, Sydney NSW 2007, Australia, email: jonathan.webb@uts.edu.au
(3) School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006, Australia, email: mathew.crowther@sydney.edu.au
(4) School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia, email: m.letnic@unsw.edu.au

Database: Humanities & Social Sciences Collection