Colonisation and range expansion of inland-breeding Cormorants in England

Author(s): Newson, S.E., Marchant, J.H., Sellers, R.M., Ekins, G.R., Hearn, R.D. & Burton, N.H.K.

Published: December 2013  

Journal: British Birds Volume: 106

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Following the establishment of a tree-nesting colony of Great Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo at Abberton Reservoir, Essex, in 1981, the inland breeding population in England has increased considerably. Successful breeding has now occurred at 89 inland sites and, while Cormorants have been actively dissuaded from breeding at a number of these, the inland population in England reached about 2,362 breeding pairs at 48 sites in 2012. Increasing numbers of Cormorants on inland waters in England have intensified conflict between Cormorants and fisheries. This resulted in an increase in the number of Cormorants that could be killed under licence to 3,000 per year during the winters of 2004/05 and 2005/06, after which licences for up to 2,000 birds per year have been issued.There is some evidence that the inland breeding population is now stabilising, mainly as a result of declines at some of the older colonies established in the 1980s and early 1990s. New inland colonies continue to be established, however, most notably through expansion of their range into the southwest
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