Cannibalism has never been documented in any species of cormorant. While conducting a study on the Socotra Cormorant (Phalacrocorax nigrogularis) colony of Siniya Island, Umm Al Quwain, United Arab Emirates, several instances of heterocannibalism were observed and photographed during October–December 2011. Older fledgling chicks were observed consuming younger altricial chicks. Such behavior may be due to a period of forced starvation, caused by abandonment by the parents in the third creching stage. The frequency of observed events suggests that this behavior may be common in Socotra Cormorants and should be investigated to determine possible causes and effects on the conservation of the species.
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Vol. 35 • No. 2