Differences in the diet of breeding Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis in an inland colony: the effect of years, breeding stages and locations within the colony

Open access

Abstract

A study of the diet of the Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis (fish species and size) in (1) different seasons (years), (2) breeding stages (incubation and chick rearing), and (3) breeding areas (center and edge) in the colony in the Dzierżno-Duże Reservoir (southern Poland) was carried out. Overall, 147 pellets of the Great Cormorant were analysed. The low values of the indexes of Levin (Bi) and Shannon (H’) showed a limited trophic spectrum in the diet of the Great Cormorant. Roach (Rutilus rutilus) with a percentage index of relative importance (%IRI) of 62.89, perch (Perca fluviatilis) (%IRI = 22.63) and carp (Cyprinus carpio) (%IRI = 10.43), were the most common prey. Evident changes in the diet between 2003 and 2014, with less roach and more perch and ruffe in 2014 were found. They could be probably related to changes in the fish community. Differences in the food of cormorants between breeding stages reflected dietary requirements of the chicks. During the breeding season younger chicks require feeding with smaller fish than older chicks. The proportion of fish species found in the cormorant diet differed between the edge and the centre of the colony. We concluded that the impact of Great Cormorants on native fish assemblages may be dependent on the location within the colony, development state of the chicks and season, not just fish availability.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Bararti A. 2013 Diet and growth of chicks of the Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo at Ramsar northern Iran (Aves: Phalacrocoracidae) Zool. Middle East 46(1): 29–36.

  • Bearhop S.Thompson D.R.Waldron S. Russell I.C. Alexander G. Furness R.W. 1999 Stable isotopes indicate the extent of freshwater feeding by cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo shot at inland fisheries in England J. Appl. Ecol. 36(1): 75–84.

  • Blumenbach J.F. 1798 25. Pelecanus Sinensis [in:] Abbildungen naturhistorischer Gegenstände. Vol. 3: Nro 21–30 J.Ch. Dietrich Göttingen.

  • Bregnballe T. Frederiksen M. Gregersen J. 2006 Effects of distance towintering area on arrival date and breeding performance in Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo Ardea 94(3): 619–630.

  • Burger A.E. 1997 Arrival and departure behaviour of Common murres (Uria aalge) at colonies: evidence for an information halo? Colon. Waterbirds 20(1): 55–65.

  • Buttu S. Mulas A. Palmas F. Cabiddu S. 2013 Diet and Impact of Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis (AVES PHALACROCORACIDE) on Transitional Environments in Central-Western Sardinia Transiti. Water Bull. 7(2):17–27.

  • Carrassón M. Matallanas J. Casadevall M. 1997 Feeding strategies of deep-water morids on the western Mediterranean slope Deep Sea Res. 44(9–10): 1685–1699.

  • Carss D.N. 2003 Reducing the conflict between cormorants and fisheries on a pan-European scale. REDCAFE. Final Report Centre for Ecology and Hydrology Banchory 169 pp.

  • Čech M. Čech P. Kubečka J. Prchalová M. Draštík V. 2008 Size selectivity in summer and winter diets of great cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo): does it reflect season-dependent difference in foraging efficiency? Waterbirds 31(3): 438–447.

  • Cherubini G. Mantovani R. 1997 Variability in the results of Cormorant diet assessment by using indices for otolith digestion Suppl. Ric. Biol. Selvaggina 26: 239–246.

  • Cortés E. 1997 A critical review of methods of studying fish feeding based on analysis of stomach contents: application to elasmobranch fishes Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 54(12): 726–738.

  • Cramp S. Simmons K.E.L. 1977 Handbook of the Birds of Europe the Middle East and North Africa. The Birds of the Western Palearctic. Vol. 1: Ostrich to Ducks Oxford University Press Oxford 732 pp.

  • Dirksen S. Boudewijn T.J. Noordhuis R. Marteijn E.C.L. 1995 Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinenesis in shallow eutrophic freshwater lakes: prey choice and fish consumption in the non-breeding period and effects of large-scale fish removal Ardea 83(1): 167–184.

  • [EC] European Commission 1997 Commission Directive 97/49/EC of 29 July 1997 amending Council Directive 79/409/EEC on the conservation of wild birds Offic. J. Eur. Union L223 40: 9–17.

  • [EEC] European Economic Community 1979 79/409/EEC Council Directive of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds Offic. J. Eur. Union L103 22: 1–30.

  • Engström H. Jonsson L. 2003 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis diet in relation to fish community structure in a freshwater lake Vogelwelt 124 (Suppl.): 187–196.

  • Gagliardi A. Martinoli A. Preatoni D. Wauters L.A. 2007 From mass of body elements to fish biomass: a direct method to qualify food intake of fish eating birds Hydro-biologia 583: 213–222.

  • Grémillet D. Kuntz G. Delbart F. Mellet M. Kato A. Robin J.P. Chaillon P.E. Gendner J.P. Lorentsen S.H. Le Maho Y. 2004 Linking the foraging performance of a marine predator to local prey abundance Funct. Ecol. 18(6): 793–801.

  • Gwiazda R. Amirowicz A. 2010 Towards the optimal foraging strategy: is seasonal shift in the diet of Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo in a dam reservoir the effect of water temperature or size pattern in fish assemblages? Pol. J. Ecol. 58(4): 783–792.

  • Hartman K.J. Margraf F.J. 1992 Effects of prey and predator abundances on prey consumption and growth of walleyes in western Lake Erie Trans. Am. Fish. Soc. 121: 245–260.

  • Hobson K.A. Knapton R.W. Lysack W. 1989 Population diet and reproductive success of Double-crested Cormorants breeding on Winnipegosis Manitoba in 1987 Colon. Waterbirds 12(2): 191–197.

  • Horoszewicz L. 1960 Wartości kości gardłowych dolnych (ossapharyngea interiora) jako kryterium gatunkowego oznaczania ryb karpiowatych/Cyprynidae/ (The value of lower pharyngeal bones (ossa pharyngea interiora) as species criteria for defining fish of the Cyprinidae family) Rocz. Nauk Roln. B 75(2): 237–256 (in Polish).

  • Hughes B. Bevan R.M. Bowler J.M. Still L. Carss D.N. Marquiss M. Hearn R.D. Bruce J. 1999 Feeding Behaviour of Fish-Eating Birds in Great Britain. Report to the Department of the Environment Transport and Regions London 249 pp.

  • Johnsgard P.A. 1993 Cormorants Darters and Pelicans of the world Smithsonian Inst. Press Washington 445 pp.

  • Keller T. 1995 Food of Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis wintering in Bavaria southern Germany Ardea 83: 185–192.

  • Keller T. Vordermeier T. von Lukowicz M. Klein M. 1997 The impacts of Cormorants on the fish stocks of several Bavarian water bodies with special emphasis on the ecological and economical aspects of fisheries Suppl. Ric. Biol. Selvaggina 26: 295–311.

  • Kostecki M. 2000 Zawiesina jako element zanieczyszczeń antropogennego ekosystemu wodnego na przykładzie zbiornika zaporowego Dzierżno Duże (The suspended solids as an element of pollution of anthropogenic water ecosystem for example of Dzierżno Duże dam-reservoir) Arch. Ochr. Środow. 26(4): 75–94 (in Polish).

  • Lagardère J.P. 1975 Rècherches sur l’alimentation descrevettes bathypelagiques du talus continental du Golfe de Gascogne (Studies on feeding bathypelagic shrimps of the continental slope of the Bay of Biscay) Rev. Trav. Inst. Péches Marit. 39(2): 213–229 (in French English summary).

  • Lauzanne L. 1982 Les Orestias (Pisces Cyprinodontidae) du Petit lac Titicaca (Orestias (Pisces Cyprinodontidae) in Lesser Lake Titicaca) Rev. Hydrobiol. Trop. 15(1): 39–70 (in French English summary).

  • Lehikoinen A. 2005 Prey-switching and diet of the Great Cormorant during the breeding season in the Gulf of Finland Waterbirds 28(4): 515–515.

  • Leopold M.F. van Damme C.J.G. van der Veer H.W. 1998 Diet of cormorants and the impact of cormorant predation on juvenile flatfish in the Ducht Wadden Sea J. Sea Res. 40(1–2): 93–107

  • Levins R. 1968 Evolution in Changing Environments Princeton University Press Princeton 132 pp.

  • Lindell L. Mellin M. Musil P. Przybysz J. Zimmerman M. 1995 Status and population development of breeding Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis of the central European flyway Ardea 83(1): 81–92.

  • Lindell L. 1997 Food composition of cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis in Sweden Suppl. Ric. Biol. Selvag-gina 26: 163–171.

  • Liordos V. Goutner V. 2008 Habitat and temporal variation in the diet of Great Cormorant nestlings in Greek colonies Waterbirds 31(3):424–437

  • Martyniak A. Terleck J. Boroń S. Hliwa P. Sza-Mańska U. Gabrś B. Romaniewicz A. 1997 Diet composition of cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis from pellets collected at Kąty Rybackie colony northern Poland Suppl. Ric. Biol. Selvaggina 26: 505–510.

  • Martyniak A. Wziątek B. Szymańska U. Hliwa P. Terlecki J. 2003 Diet composition of Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinenesis at Kąty Rybackie NE Poland as assessed by pellets and regurgitated prey Vogelwelt 124(Suppl.): 217–225.

  • Mous P.J. Dekker W. De Leeuw J.J. van Eerden M.R. van Densen W.L.T. 2003 Interactions in the utilization of small fish by piscivorous fish and birds and the fishery in Ijsselmeer [in:] Cowx I.G. (ed.) Interactions between fish and birds: implications for management Blackwell Oxford: 84–118.

  • N’da K. 1992 Regime alimentaire du rouget de roche Mullus surmeletus (Mullidae) dans le nord du golfe de Gascogne (Feeding habits of the red mullet (Mullus surmuletus (Mullidae) from the north of the Bay of Biscay) Cybium 16: 159–168 (in French).

  • Profus P. Ostański M. Szlama D. 2002 Awifauna zbiornika retencyjnego Dzierżno Duże na Górnym Śląsku. Cz. II. Powstanie i rozwój kolonii kormorana czarnego Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis (The avifauna of the Dzierżno Duże retention reservoir in Upper Silesia. Part II. Origin and development of the Phalacrocorax carbo sinenesis colony) Chrońmy Przyr. Ojcz. 58(3): 29–37 (in Polish English summary).

  • Platteeuw M. Koffijberg K. Dubbeldam W. 1995 Growth of cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis chicks in relation to brood size age ranking and parental fishing effort Ardea 83(1): 235–245.

  • Rzętała M.A. Jaguś A. Rzętała M. 2013 Samooczyszczanie wód w procesie tworzenia form deltowych (Self-purification of waters during creation of delta forms) Rocz. Ochr. Śr.15(1): 2510–2525 (in Polish English summary).

  • Shannon C.E. Weaver W. 1949 The Mathematical Theory of Communication University of Illinois Press Urbana 125 pp.

  • Szlama S. Profus P. 2008 Awifauna zbiornika retencyjnego Dzierzno Duże na Gornym Slasku. Cz.3. Znaczenie zbiornika i jego otoczenia dla przelotów i zimowania ptaków (The avifauna of the Dzierzno Duze retention reservoir in the Upper Silesia. Part 3. The importance of the reservoir and its surroundings for migrating and wintering birds) Chrońmy Przyr. Ojcz. 66(6): 3–48 (in Polish English summary).

  • Sokal R.R. Rohlf F.J. 1987 Introduction to biostatistics W.H. Freeman & Co. New York 363 pp.

  • Stempniewicz L. Martyniak A. Borowski W. Goc M. 2003 Fish stocks commercial fishing and cormorant predation in the Vistula Lagoon Poland [in:] Cowx I.G. (ed.) Interactions between fish and birds: implications for management Blackwell Oxford: 51–64.

  • van Eerden M.R. Gregersen J. 1995 Long-term changes in the northwest European population of Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis Ardea 83(1): 61–79.

  • van Eerden M.R. Munsterman M. J. 1995 Sex and age dependent distribution in wintering Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis in Western Europe Ardea 83(1): 285–297.

  • van Eerden M.R. Voslamber B. 1995 Mass fishing by cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinenesis at Lake IJseelmeer The Netherlands: a recent and successful adaptation to a turbid environment Ardea 83(1): 199–212.

  • Veldkamp R. 1995 The use of chewing pads for estimating the consumption of cyprinids by Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo Ardea 83(1): 135–138.

  • Vetemaa M. Eschbaum R. Albert A. Saks L. Verliin A. Jurgens K. Kesler M. 2010 Changes in fish stocks in an Estonian estuary: overfishing by cormorants? ICES J. Mar. Sci. 67(9): 1972–1979.

  • Wanless S. Corfield T. Harris M.P. Buckland S.T. Morris J.A. 1993 Diving behaviour of the Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis (Aves: Pelecaniformes) in relation to water depth and prey size J. Zool. Lond. 231(1): 11–25.

  • Wittenberger J.F. Hunt G.L. 1985 The adaptive significance of coloniality in birds Avian Biol. 8: 1–78.

  • Wojczulanis-Jakubas K. Minias P. Kaczmarek K. Janiszewski T. 2013 Late-breeding Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis produce fewer young of the more vulnerable sex Ibis 155(3): 626–631.

  • Wziątek B. Martyniak A. Szymańska U. Kozłowski J. Dostatni D. 2003 Composition of the Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis diet in the Drawa National Park NW-Poland Vogelwelt 124(Suppl.): 291–295.

  • Zar J.H. 1996 Biostatistical analysis Prentice Hall Upper Saddle River 662 pp.

  • Zijlstra M. Van Eerden M.R. 1995 Pellet production and the use of otoliths in determining the diet of cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis: trials with captive birds Ardea 83(1): 123–131.

Search
Journal information
Metrics
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 735 735 2
PDF Downloads 93 93 1