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Aims To examine the impact of mink on dense aggregations of ground-breeding seabirds on islands previously isolated from mammalian predators. Methods We compare 1990–93 tern breeding data with records before and after mink arrival. Results In the early 1990s, terns showed no preference for mink-free islands. The breeding behaviour and success of tern colonies in mink-inhabited areas did not significantly differ from that in mink-free areas. However, colonies were larger and breeding success lower in mink-inhabited areas compared to mink-free areas, trends which might reflect longer term mink impact. Conclusions As mink spread south there seems to be a gradual increase in tern colony size affecting Lewis, then Harris and, recently, the Sound of Harris. © 2002 British Trust for Ornithology.

Original publication




Journal article


Bird Study

Publication Date





118 - 123