Marylou Beaudoin

Université du Québec à Rimouski
M.Sc. candidate

Supervisor: Dominique Berteaux
Joël Bêty
Start: 2022-08-31
End: 2024-08-30
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Effects of physical characteristics of islets on the risk of nest predation by Arctic foxes on Bylot Island (Nunavut)
Predation is one of the most important selective forces affecting the nesting success of birds. In the High Arctic, some avian species use a proactive strategy against predation by nesting primarily on islets scattered in ponds across the tundra. The islets provide refuge from predation by Arctic foxes, which are the primary terrestrial predator at the circumpolar scale. Islets farthest from shore and separated from shore by the greatest water depths are selected, but the reason for this selection remains unclear. It is possible that these islets provide the greatest level of protection from predation. However, the risk of nest predation on islets with different physical characteristics remains understudied. Similarly, it is uncertain whether this relative risk may also vary with the abundance of the Arctic fox's primary prey. My project aims to better understand the effect of physical characteristics of islets, in interaction with annual densities of Arctic fox primary prey, on the risk of nest predation by Arctic foxes. To do this, I will quantify 1) predation rates on artificial nests experimentally placed on islets, and 2) hatching success of Cackling Geese and Glaucous Gulls nesting on islets with varying physical characteristics.


Risque de prédation, Renard arctique, Bernache de Hutchins, Goéland bourgmestre, Refuge, Ilot, Haut-Arctique