"The answer, in the short term, is to make sure
of the facts and so we
will be appointing a PhD student to research the relationship between
skuas and petrels."
The project will run until 2009.
Professor Robert Furness, from the Institute of
Biomedical and Life
Sciences at Glasgow University, said a shortage of fish had turned one
bird against another.
He said: "The huge quantities of fish
fishermen in the seas around Scotland have been an important factor in
the growth of bonxie numbers.
"Now that fisheries are in decline the bonxies
are increasingly having to kill other seabirds as food."
St Kilda has dual World Heritage status and is
a renowned natural environment.
The last of its inhabitants were evacuated to
the mainland in 1930
after the islands' reliance on imports of food, fuel and building
materials became a massive strain on the residents' way of life.