Alien mammal assemblage effects on burrow occupancy and hatching success of the Vulnerable pink-footed shearwater in Chile

Pablo Garcia Diaz* (Corresponding Author), Peter Hodum, Valentina Colodro, Michell Hester, Ryan D Carle

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Alien species are a driver of biodiversity loss, with impacts of different aliens on native species varying considerably. Identifying the contributions of alien species to native species declines could help target management efforts. Globally, seabirds breeding on islands have proven to be highly susceptible to alien species. The breeding colonies of the pink-footed shearwater (Ardenna creatopus) are threatened by the negative impacts of alien mammals. We combined breeding monitoring data with a hierarchical model to separate the effects of different alien mammal assemblages on the burrow occupancy and hatching success of the pink-footed shearwater in the Juan Fernández Archipelago, Chile. We show that alien mammals affected the rates of burrow occupancy, but had little effect on hatching success. Rabbits produced the highest negative impacts on burrow occupancy, whereas the effects of other alien mammals were more uncertain. In addition, we found differences in burrow occupancy between islands regardless of their alien mammal assemblages. Managing rabbits will improve the reproductive performance of this shearwater, but research is needed to clarify the mechanisms by which alien mammals affect the shearwaters and to explain why burrow occupancy varies between islands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-157
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Conservation
Issue number3
Early online date22 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020

Bibliographical note

Thanks to the many people who have worked on mon- itoring shearwater burrows and the management of invasive species, including J Beck, S DeRodt, G DeRodt, J Dolliver, M Flores, P González, H Gutiérrez, E Hagen, N Hamel, A Hamel-Hodum, C Lo ́pez, A Leist, K Lindquist, R Recabarren, S Schoppman, M Schreiner, M Wainstein and M Yarbrough. Thanks to the staff of Chilean Corporacio ́n Nacional Forestal (CONAF) and Parque Nacional Archipiélago Juan Fernández for extensive logistical and permit support for the fieldwork. Thanks to B Warburton, D Tompkins, A Gormley, D Anderson, D Latham, G Norbury and C Jones (Manaaki Whenua). Three anonymous reviewers and the editor provided comments that helped improve a previous version of this manuscript.

Financial support.
This project was funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Strategic Science Investment Funding provided by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research. PG-D was partially supported by NERC grant NE/S011641/1 under the Newton Latam programme.


  • Ardenna creatopus
  • European rabbit
  • hierarchical model
  • introduced species
  • Juan Fernández Archipelago
  • Juan Fernandez Archipelago


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