Population trends and status of four seabird species (Uria aalge, Alca torda, Larus fuscus, Larus argentatus) at Stora Karlsö in the Baltic Sea
The island of Stora Karlsö hosts the largest colonies of ﬁsh-eating seabirds in the Baltic Sea. However, recent and reliable estimates of the number of breeding pairs of the main species have been missing. Based on a complete census in 2014, we estimated the number of Common Guillemots Uria aalge to 15,700 pairs, more than half (up to 70%) of the Baltic Sea population. The number has almost tripled since the early 1970s and the increase has been particularly strong the last 11 years, with an annual increase of 5.1%. We counted 24,600 individual adult Razorbills Alca torda and estimated it to correspond to a maximum of 12,300 pairs in 2015–2016 (census over two seasons). The colony has grown strongly; on average by 5.6% annually since the early 1970s, and Stora Karlsö now hosts up to 30% of the Baltic Sea population. Stora Karlsö also hosts colonies with about 300 pairs each of Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus and Herring Gull Larus argentatus. The gulls’ trends are negative, with an average annual decline the last 10-year period by 5.0% and 6.2%, respectively.
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