At lower lake Constance, the number of cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) has greatly increased during the last 15 years. An investigation of their diet can help to estimate the impact on fish and fisheries. Therefore, 282 cormorants were collected for stomach content analysis in autumn/winter 2011/12 and 2012/13. A total of 4019 fish or hard parts of 16 species were identified in the diet of cormorants. Fish length and weight were reconstructed from dimensions of hard parts using regression equations. Perch was the most frequent species (composition by number = 41.5%). Based on composition by weight, the most important species in the diet of cormorants was tench (Tinca tinca) with 47.0%, followed by Northern pike (Esox lucius), perch (Perca fluviatilis) and European whitefish (Coregonus lavaretus) with 23.9%, 7.2% and 6.9%, respectively. The dietary composition significantly differed between autumn and winter. Fish of high commercial value played a considerable part in the cormorants’ diet. The impact of cormorants on grayling (Thymallus thymallus) could not be assessed due to the low number of birds from the spawning grounds of grayling at the outlet of lower lake Constance.
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Mots clés :
cormorants’ diet, fisheries yield, hard parts, stomach content analysis, alimentation du cormoran, pêche, parties osseuses, analyse du contenu stomacal