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Science
WILD BLUE BRITAIN
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Monday 1 August 2005 9.00 - 9.30pm

Lionel Kelleway is at his best fronting up this new series about our coasts - Wild Blue Britain - and he doesn't hold back on his infectious enthusiasm.

Lionel Beth Scott and Paul thompson on Orkney
Lionel Kelleway with Paul Thompson and Beth Scott from Aberdeen University on the Island of Eynhallow, Orkney
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Episode 4 - Predators
 
Predators are the architects of their surroundings. They have a huge influence on the animals and plants beneath them in the food web. Remove that predator and the prey species flourish changing the world around them.

Many things effect predators that live in or near the sea such as the seasonal abundance of food, prey shifting location because of changes in ocean current patterns, fisheries and environmental change brought about by climate or pollution.

Many ocean predators show similar life history traits that enable them to ride change and cope with these challenges.

Lionel joins Paul Thompson and Beth Scott of Aberdeen University on the island of Eynhallow to discover how fulmars ensure success in this harsh environment.

These sea birds are long-lived, living upwards of 50 years; they have few young, at best raising one offspring each year; both parents share parenting duties (both incubation and feeding); they are slow to reach sexual maturity and pair for life (spending years choosing a mate).

The fulmar's strategy for life has been honed by countless generations, each finding the best way to survive and reproduce. Such life histories tell us the ocean is a tough and unpredictable place and the life of a top predator is far from an easy one.

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