Many ground-nesting bird species are suffering from habitat loss and population decline. Data on population ecology and demography in colonies of threatened species are thus essential for designing effective conservation protocols. Here, we used extensive ringing and observation data to estimate directly, for the first time, the survival rate of juvenile and adult Little Tern (Sternula albifrons), as well as testing for a possible effect of age on probability of survival. We estimated adult annual survival rate to be 0.77, and juvenile (first year) survival to be 0.49 with a possible linear decrease in the survival rate of the juveniles that ranged from 0.681 to 0.327. We found no evidence that survival was age-dependent among the early age classes after the first year. We discuss these findings in light of survival estimates for other species, and their implications for the Little Tern conservation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by 'Salt of the Earth Ltd.', the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), and the Hoopoe Foundation
© 2019 Schekler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.