Expansion of the Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus in Poland

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2007
Authors:Zielińska, M, Zieliński, P, Kołodziejczyk, P, Szewczyk, P, Betleja, J
Journal:Journal of Ornithology
Date Published:2007
ISBN Number:2193-7192
Keywords:Chroicocephalus ridibundus, Ichthyaetus, Ichthyaetus melanocephalus, Laridae, Larus, Larus canus, Larus melanocephalus, Larus ridibundus, Poland
Abstract:Since 1981, when the first breeding pair of Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus was recorded in Poland, the population of this gull has increased considerably. Its population size was stable until 1997, not exceeding ten pairs annually; thereafter, an increasing number of sightings were made, and during the last 5 years between 26 and 39 breeding pairs have been recorded in Poland. To date, breeding sites have been established in a total of 45 sites (maximum of 19 sites in a given year), with 27% of these (43% of all broods) found on islands located in the middle course of the Vistula River. Breeding sites have also included artificial reservoirs, such as dam reservoirs (20% of sites, 19% of broods), gravel pits (9% of sites, 13% of broods) and fishponds (24% of places, 8% of broods). Mediterranean Gulls were found to nest only within the colonies of other Laridae. Single pairs were recorded at 40% of the breeding sites, whereas a maximum of two to five pairs were recorded at 47% of the other sites. The great majority of breeding attempts were recorded in Black-headed Gull L. ridibundus colonies. In two cases, Mediterranean Gulls bred within mono-specific colonies of Common Gulls L. canus consisting of 60–150 pairs. The biggest concentrations of breeding sites were along the middle course of the Vistula river and in the southern part of Poland.
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