Eastern Wildlife Damage Control Conferences

 

Date of this Version

February 1991

Abstract

DRC-1339 was used in 1990 and 1991 to reverse gull (Laridae) domination at Ram Island in Mattapoisett, Massachusetts, a site historically important to the endangered roseate tern (Sterna dougallii). Reduction of the very dense gull population at Ram Island and reclamation of the island for nesting terms is seen as a challenge, especially considering the site's proximity to New Bedford, the largest commercial fishery on the Atlantic Seaboard. During 1990 and 1991, gull productivity at Ram Island was completely suppressed Eight hundred twenty-three and 172 gulls were recovered dead following treatments in 1990 and 1991. Females predominated nearly 2 to 1. Totals of 931 and 259 clutches of eggs were destroyed in 1990 and 1991. Results suggest overall efficiency of the toxicant may decline in successive years. Ultimate success in discouraging gulls from using the island may hinge on how quickly we are able to capitalize on dramatic early results by augmenting continued DRC-1339 use with additional measures.