Virginia Institute of Marine Science
Predation on the federally-endangered Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus), and sturgeons generally is understudied. Most predation is presumed to occur on eggs and larvae, and bethe result of interactions with other aquatic organisms, primarily other fishes. Predation on larger juvenile sturgeon by terrestrial and avian predators remains largely unknown. Here we document the recovery of a juvenile Atlantic Sturgeon carcass (512 mm total length) approximately 120 m inland from the shore of the York River in Gloucester County, Virginia. This individual showed signs of predation by a bird of prey, most likely an Osprey (Pandion haliaetus), although a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) cannot be ruled out, as they are also residents in this area. The purpose of this note is to document this occurrence and suggest further study of predation on Atlantic Sturgeon in the Chesapeake Bay.
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Hilton, Eric J. and McGrath, Patrick E., It’s raining sturgeons: a likely occurrence of avian predation or scavenging of Atlantic Sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus Mitchell, 1815) (2021). Banisteria, 55, N7-12.