Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 44/3 | 2007 | 145-148

  Dispersal of Cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) from the Hensies colony (Wetland of Biological Interest of Harchies - Belgium): preliminary results from a colour ringing scheme
Paquet, J.-Y., Malengreau, A. & Simar, J.

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Article summary

In order to investigate population parameters in a colony located outside the core breeding area of the species, a Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) colour-ringing scheme has been initiated in the Hensies colony (Western Belgium). Due to practical difficulties to reach the nests, only few nestlings could be ringed each year: 17 in 2005, 25 in 2006 and 21 in 2007. However, thanks to a high density of observers in the neighbouring regions, a high resighting rate has been obtained: 25.4% of all ringed cormorants have been resighted at least once outside the colony. Most of the resightings outside the native colony have been made in the summer or early autumn following fledging, as soon as the 8th of June. Most of the observations are made in Northern France, along the English Channel or inland, but some birds have been seen in the Loire valley (longest distance: 398 km), one in Kent and one close to Amsterdam. The western post-fledging dispersal of the Hensies cormorants is probably a reality, and not merely a bias due to the low number of marked birds, because systematic Great Cormorant colour-ring searches occur in Southern Belgium, to the east of the Hensies colony, and did not result in any observations of Hensies Cormorant. It is much too early to estimate the survival rate of the Hensies Great Cormorants from the present data, but their tendency to disperse toward the west and particularly in France may result into a relatively low survival rate, because of the heavy shooting pressure in France.

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Grand Cormoran
Phalacrocorax carbo

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