Vital rate estimates for the common eider Somateria mollissima, a data-rich exemplar of the seaduck tribe.

Published online
23 Dec 2021
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Ecological Solutions and Evidence

Nicol-Harper, A. & Wood, K. A. & Diamond, A. W. & Major, H. L. & Petersen, A. & Tertitski, G. & Doncaster, C. P. & Ezard, T. H. G. & Hilton, G. M.
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This database collates vital rate estimates for the common eider (Somateria mollissima), providing a complete demographic parameterization for this slow life-history species. Monitored across its circumpolar range, the common eider represents a data-rich exemplar species for the less-studied seaducks, many of which are under threat. The database contains estimates of the following vital rates: first-year survival; second-year survival; adult annual survival; first breeding (both age-specific recruitment probability, and breeding propensity across potential recruitment ages); breeding propensity of established female breeders; clutch size; hatching success; and fledging success. These estimates are drawn from 134 studies, across the scientific and grey literature, including three previously inaccessible datasets on clutch size that were contributed in response to a call for data through the IUCN Species Survival Commission's Duck Specialist Group. Although clutch size has been much studied, the contributed datasets have enhanced coverage of studies reported in non-English languages, which were otherwise only represented when cited in English-language publications. Breeding propensity has been little studied, perhaps because adult females are often assumed to attempt breeding every year; we obtained a mean breeding propensity of 0.72. Our synthesis highlights the following gaps in data availability: juvenile and male survival; population change; and studies from Russia (at least accessible in English). The database is intended to serve population modellers and scientists involved in the policy and practice of seaduck conservation and management.

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