Sample records for shearwater calonectris diomedea

  1. A study of stomach contents of Cory's shearwater, Calonectris diomedea borealis (Cory, 1881) (Aves: Procellariidae), from the Macaronesian Islands

    Hartog, den J.C.; Clarke, M.R.


    Data are presented on the diet of Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea borealis (Cory, 1881) resulting from stomach investigations based on 18 birds from Hierro (Canary Islands), 5 from Selvagem Grande (Selvagens or Salvage Islands), 2 from São Miguel and 1 from São Jorge (Azores), collected

  2. High prevalence of parental delivery of plastic debris in Cory’s shearwaters (Calonectris diomedea)

    Rodríguez, Airam; Rodríguez, Beneharo; Carrasco, María Nazaret


    Plastic ingestion by adult Procellariiformes has been widely recorded, but few studies have evaluated intergenerational transfer. We assessed the prevalence of plastic particles, as well as their basic character- istics, in the gut content of dead Cory’s shearwater fledglings stranded by light pollution on Canary Islands. Eighty-three percent of birds were affected, containing on average 8.0 plastic pieces per bird. The average plastic weight per bird was low (2.97 ± 3.97 mg) compared with ...

  3. High prevalence of parental delivery of plastic debris in Cory's shearwaters (Calonectris diomedea).

    Rodríguez, Airam; Rodríguez, Beneharo; Nazaret Carrasco, María


    Plastic ingestion by adult Procellariiformes has been widely recorded, but few studies have evaluated intergenerational transfer. We assessed the prevalence of plastic particles, as well as their basic characteristics, in the gut content of dead Cory's shearwater fledglings stranded by light pollution on Canary Islands. Eighty-three percent of birds were affected, containing on average 8.0 plastic pieces per bird. The average plastic weight per bird was low (2.97±3.97mg) compared with other petrel species. We found no relationships between plastic loads and body condition or body size, but negative effects may be hidden or delayed. We propose to use the fledglings stranded by light pollution to carry out more precise studies to understand the potential hidden costs of plastic ingestion; and to monitor in a long-term the marine debris to develop management actions for the control of pollution at the marine environment. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Rutes migratòries i àrees d'hivernada del virot gros Calonectris Diomedea des Pantaleu (Mallorca)

    Oro, Daniel; Genovart, Meritxell; Igual, José Manuel; Ruiz, Xavier; González-Solís, Jacob


    Migratory routes and wintering areas of Cory’s shearwaters Calonectris diomedea from es Pantaleu (Mallorca). Here we show the migratory trips through the Atlantic Ocean of 8 Cory’s shearwaters breeding at es Pantaleu islet (P.N. de sa Dragonera, Majorca) during the winter of 2002-2003. The majority of the birds preferred the coasts of the Sahara and of Mauritania and to a lesser extent those of Namibia, corresponding to two zones of oceanic upwelling of cold and very productive waters (Canary...

  5. Geographical PCB and DDT patterns in shearwaters (Calonectris sp.) breeding across the NE Atlantic and the Mediterranean archipelagos.

    Roscales, Jose L; Muñoz-Arnanz, Juan; González-Solís, Jacob; Jiménez, Begoña


    Although seabirds have been proposed as useful biomonitors for organochlorine contaminants (OCs) in marine environments, their suitability is still unclear. To understand the geographic variability and the influence of seabird trophic ecology in OC levels, we analyzed PCBs, DDTs, delta(13)C, and delta(15)N in the blood of adult Calonectris shearwaters throughout a vast geographic range within the northeast Atlantic Ocean (from Cape Verde to Azores) and the Mediterranean Sea (from the Alboran Sea to Crete). OC concentrations were greater in birds from the Mediterranean than in those from the Atlantic colonies, showing higher and lower chlorinated PCB profiles, respectively. This large-scale pattern may reflect the influence of historical European runoffs in the Mediterranean basin and diffused sources for OCs in remote Atlantic islands. Spatial patterns also emerged within the Atlantic basin, probably associated with pollutant long-range transport and recent inputs of DDT in the food webs of shearwaters from Cape Verde and the Canary islands. Moreover, a positive association of OC concentrations with delta(15)N within each locality points out diet specialization as a major factor explaining differences in OCs at the intraspecific level. Overall, this study highlights wide range breeding seabirds, such as Calonectris shearwaters, as suitable organisms for biomonitoring large geographic trends of organochlorine contamination in the marine environment.

  6. Breaking the routine: individual Cory's shearwaters shift winter destinations between hemispheres and across ocean basins

    Dias, Maria P.; Granadeiro, José P.; Phillips, Richard A.; Alonso, Hany; Catry, Paulo


    There is growing evidence that migratory species are particularly vulnerable to rapid environmental changes arising from human activity. Species are expected to vary in their capacity to respond to these changes: long-distance migrants and those lacking variability in migratory traits are probably at considerable disadvantage. The few studies that have assessed the degree of plasticity in behaviour of marine animals suggest that fidelity to non-breeding destinations is usually high. In the present study, we evaluated individual flexibility in migration strategy of a highly pelagic seabird, the Cory's shearwater Calonectris diomedea. Geolocation data from 72 different migrations, including 14 birds that were tracked for more than one non-breeding season, showed a remarkable capacity to change winter destinations between years. Although some birds exhibited high site fidelity, others shifted from the South to North Atlantic, from the western to eastern South Atlantic, and from the Atlantic to Indian Ocean. Individuals also showed flexibility in stopover behaviour and migratory schedule. Although their K-selected life-history strategy has the disadvantage that the chances of microevolution are slight if circumstances alter rapidly, these results suggest that Cory's shearwaters may be in a better position than many other long-distance migrants to face the consequences of a changing environment. PMID:21106591

  7. The Foraging Ecology of the Endangered Cape Verde Shearwater, a Sentinel Species for Marine Conservation off West Africa.

    Paiva, Vitor H; Geraldes, Pedro; Rodrigues, Isabel; Melo, Tommy; Melo, José; Ramos, Jaime A


    Large Marine Ecosystems such as the Canary Current system off West Africa sustains high abundance of small pelagic prey, which attracts marine predators. Seabirds are top predators often used as biodiversity surrogates and sentinel species of the marine ecosystem health, thus frequently informing marine conservation planning. This study presents the first data on the spatial (GPS-loggers) and trophic (stable isotope analysis) ecology of a tropical seabird-the endangered Cape Verde shearwater Calonectris edwardsii-during both the incubation and the chick-rearing periods of two consecutive years. This information was related with marine environmental predictors (species distribution models), existent areas of conservation concern for seabirds (i.e. marine Important Bird Areas; marine IBAs) and threats to the marine environment in the West African areas heavily used by the shearwaters. There was an apparent inter-annual consistency on the spatial, foraging and trophic ecology of Cape Verde shearwater, but a strong alteration on the foraging strategies of adult breeders among breeding phases (i.e. from incubation to chick-rearing). During incubation, birds mostly targeted a discrete region off West Africa, known by its enhanced productivity profile and thus also highly exploited by international industrial fishery fleets. When chick-rearing, adults exploited the comparatively less productive tropical environment within the islands of Cape Verde, at relatively close distance from their breeding colony. The species enlarged its trophic niche and increased the trophic level of their prey from incubation to chick-rearing, likely to provision their chicks with a more diversified and better quality diet. There was a high overlap between the Cape Verde shearwaters foraging areas with those of European shearwater species that overwinter in this area and known areas of megafauna bycatch off West Africa, but very little overlap with existing Marine Important Bird Areas. Further

  8. The Foraging Ecology of the Endangered Cape Verde Shearwater, a Sentinel Species for Marine Conservation off West Africa.

    Vitor H Paiva

    Full Text Available Large Marine Ecosystems such as the Canary Current system off West Africa sustains high abundance of small pelagic prey, which attracts marine predators. Seabirds are top predators often used as biodiversity surrogates and sentinel species of the marine ecosystem health, thus frequently informing marine conservation planning. This study presents the first data on the spatial (GPS-loggers and trophic (stable isotope analysis ecology of a tropical seabird-the endangered Cape Verde shearwater Calonectris edwardsii-during both the incubation and the chick-rearing periods of two consecutive years. This information was related with marine environmental predictors (species distribution models, existent areas of conservation concern for seabirds (i.e. marine Important Bird Areas; marine IBAs and threats to the marine environment in the West African areas heavily used by the shearwaters. There was an apparent inter-annual consistency on the spatial, foraging and trophic ecology of Cape Verde shearwater, but a strong alteration on the foraging strategies of adult breeders among breeding phases (i.e. from incubation to chick-rearing. During incubation, birds mostly targeted a discrete region off West Africa, known by its enhanced productivity profile and thus also highly exploited by international industrial fishery fleets. When chick-rearing, adults exploited the comparatively less productive tropical environment within the islands of Cape Verde, at relatively close distance from their breeding colony. The species enlarged its trophic niche and increased the trophic level of their prey from incubation to chick-rearing, likely to provision their chicks with a more diversified and better quality diet. There was a high overlap between the Cape Verde shearwaters foraging areas with those of European shearwater species that overwinter in this area and known areas of megafauna bycatch off West Africa, but very little overlap with existing Marine Important Bird

  9. The short-tailed Albatross, Diomedea albatrus, its status, distribution and natural history

    Hasegawa, H.; DeGange, A.R.


    The Short-tailed Albatross (Diomedea albatrus) is presently an Endangered Species that was formerly abundant in the North Pacific. Owing to the activities of feather hunters operating on the albatross's nesting grounds for a 50-year period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the species was almost reduced to extinction. The Short-tailed Albatross is the largest of the three species of Diomedea that breed in the North Pacific (Table 1) and when mature is the only albatross in the North Pacific with a white back.

  10. Plastic ingestion by fulmars and shearwaters at Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada.

    Bond, Alexander L; Provencher, Jennifer F; Daoust, Pierre-Yves; Lucas, Zoe N


    Plastic pollution is widespread in the marine environment, and plastic ingestion by seabirds is now widely reported for dozens of species. Beached Northern Fulmars, Great Shearwaters, Sooty Shearwaters and Cory's Shearwaters are found on Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada regularly, and they can be used to assess plastic pollution. All species except Cory's Shearwaters contained plastic debris in their gastrointestinal tracts. Northern Fulmars, Sooty Shearwaters and Great Shearwaters all showed high prevalence of plastic ingestion (>72%), with Northern Fulmars having the highest number and mass of plastics among the species examined. There was no difference in plastic ingestion between sexes or age classes. In all species user plastics made up the majority of the pieces found, with industrial pellets representing only a small proportion in the samples. Sable Island could be an important monitoring site for plastic pollution in Atlantic Canada. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Fibrous osteodystrophy in two Northern Royal albatross chicks (Diomedea sanfordi).

    Morgan, K J; Alley, M R; Gartrell, B D; Thompson, K G; Perriman, L


    In February 2004, two Northern Royal albatross chicks aged 20 and 25 days old were presented for necropsy. Both chicks had been hand-fed in situ at a breeding colony, from 2-3 days post-hatch. The hand-rearing diet consisted of boneless hoki fillets (Macraronus novaezelandiae), electrolytes, and sooty shearwater (Puffinus griseus) proventricular oil obtained as a by-product of cultural harvest. Routine necropsies on the affected chicks revealed many bones were soft and easily bent. Radiography and histopathology revealed decreased bone density, pathological fractures, and extensive remodelling suggestive of fibrous osteodystrophy. Nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism, resulting from an imbalance in the dietary Ca:P ratio. The imbalance in the dietary Ca:P ratio was a result of feeding deboned and eviscerated fish. This investigation also highlighted potential health risks associated with the practice of feeding stored rancid proventricular oil, including the destruction of fat-soluble vitamins. It is therefore possible that oxidative degradation of vitamin D may have contributed to the development of nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism. Subsequently, dietary recommendations for supplementary feeding of orphaned Northern Royal albatross chicks include the feeding of whole human-grade fish with an appropriate Ca:P ratio, and the exclusion of proventricular oil. These cases highlight the need for scientific input into wildlife conservation projects, as lack of appropriate nutritional advice resulted in the feeding of a nutritionally inadequate diet. Following the recommended changes in diet, no further cases of osteodystrophy have been diagnosed in hand-raised chicks in the albatross colony.

  12. Shearwater foraging in the Southern Ocean: the roles of prey availability and winds.

    Ben Raymond

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Sooty (Puffinus griseus and short-tailed (P. tenuirostris shearwaters are abundant seabirds that range widely across global oceans. Understanding the foraging ecology of these species in the Southern Ocean is important for monitoring and ecosystem conservation and management. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Tracking data from sooty and short-tailed shearwaters from three regions of New Zealand and Australia were combined with at-sea observations of shearwaters in the Southern Ocean, physical oceanography, near-surface copepod distributions, pelagic trawl data, and synoptic near-surface winds. Shearwaters from all three regions foraged in the Polar Front zone, and showed particular overlap in the region around 140 degrees E. Short-tailed shearwaters from South Australia also foraged in Antarctic waters south of the Polar Front. The spatial distribution of shearwater foraging effort in the Polar Front zone was matched by patterns in large-scale upwelling, primary production, and abundances of copepods and myctophid fish. Oceanic winds were found to be broad determinants of foraging distribution, and of the flight paths taken by the birds on long foraging trips to Antarctic waters. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The shearwaters displayed foraging site fidelity and overlap of foraging habitat between species and populations that may enhance their utility as indicators of Southern Ocean ecosystems. The results highlight the importance of upwellings due to interactions of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current with large-scale bottom topography, and the corresponding localised increases in the productivity of the Polar Front ecosystem.

  13. Fatal attraction of short-tailed shearwaters to artificial lights.

    Airam Rodríguez

    Full Text Available Light pollution is increasing around the world and altering natural nightscapes with potential ecological and evolutionary consequences. A severe ecological perturbation caused by artificial lights is mass mortalities of organisms, including seabird fledglings that are attracted to lights at night on their first flights to the sea. Here, we report on the number of fledging short-tailed shearwaters Ardenna tenuirostris found grounded in evening and morning rescue patrols conducted at Phillip Island, Australia, during a 15-year period (1999-2013. We assessed factors affecting numbers of grounded birds and mortality including date, moon phase, wind direction and speed, number of visitors and holiday periods. We also tested experimentally if birds were attracted to lights by turning the lights off on a section of the road. Of 8871 fledglings found, 39% were dead or dying. This mortality rate was 4-8 times higher than reported elsewhere for other shearwater species, probably because searching for fledglings was part of our systematic rescue effort rather than the opportunistic rescue used elsewhere. Thus, it suggests that light-induced mortality of seabirds is usually underestimated. We rescued more birds (dead and alive in peak fledging, moonless and windy nights. Mortality increased through the fledging period, in the mornings and with increased traffic on holiday periods. Turning the road lights off decreased the number of grounded birds (dead and alive. While moon, wind and time are uncontrolled natural constraints, we demonstrated that reduction of light pollution and better traffic management can mitigate artificial light-induced mortality.

  14. Migratory routes and at-sea threats to Pink-footed Shearwaters

    Adams, Josh; Felis, Jonathan J.; Hodum, Peter; Colodro, Valentina; Carle, Ryan; López, Verónica


    The Pink-footed Shearwater (Ardenna creatopus) is a seabird with a breeding range restricted to three islands in Chile and an estimated world population of approximately 56,000 breeding individuals (Muñoz 2011, Oikonos unpublished data). Due to multiple threats on breeding colonies and at-sea, Pink-footed Shearwaters are listed as Endangered by the government of Chile (Reglamento de Clasificación de Especies, 2011), Threatened by the government of Canada (Environment Canada 2008), and are listed under Appendix 1 of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP 2013). A principal conservation concern for the species is mortality from fisheries bycatch during the breeding and non-breeding seasons; thus, identification of areas of overlap between at-sea use by Pink-footed Shearwaters and fisheries is a high priority conservation objective (Hinojosa Sáez and Hodum 1997, Mangel et al. 2013, ACAP 2013). During the non-breeding period, Pink-footed Shearwaters range as far north as Canada, although little was known until recently about migration routes and important wintering areas where fisheries bycatch could be a risk. Additionally, Pink-footed Shearwaters face at-sea threats during the non-breeding season off the west coast of North America. Recently, areas used by wintering Pink-footed Shearwaters have been identified as areas of interest for developing alternative energy offshore in North America (e.g., floating wind generators; Trident Winds 2016). The goal of our study was to track Pink-footed Shearwater post-breeding movements with satellite tags to identify timing and routes of migration, locate important non-breeding foraging habitats, and determine population distribution among different wintering regions.

  15. The Mitochondrial Genomes of the Nudibranch Mollusks, Melibe leonina and Tritonia diomedea, and Their Impact on Gastropod Phylogeny.

    Joseph L Sevigny

    Full Text Available The phylogenetic relationships among certain groups of gastropods have remained unresolved in recent studies, especially in the diverse subclass Opisthobranchia, where nudibranchs have been poorly represented. Here we present the complete mitochondrial genomes of Melibe leonina and Tritonia diomedea (more recently named T. tetraquetra, two nudibranchs from the unrepresented Cladobranchia group, and report on the resulting phylogenetic analyses. Both genomes coded for the typical thirteen protein-coding genes, twenty-two transfer RNAs, and two ribosomal RNAs seen in other species. The twelve-nucleotide deletion previously reported for the cytochrome oxidase 1 gene in several other Melibe species was further clarified as three separate deletion events. These deletions were not present in any opisthobranchs examined in our study, including the newly sequenced M. leonina or T. diomedea, suggesting that these previously reported deletions may represent more recently divergent taxa. Analysis of the secondary structures for all twenty-two tRNAs of both M. leonina and T. diomedea indicated truncated d arms for the two serine tRNAs, as seen in some other heterobranchs. In addition, the serine 1 tRNA in T. diomedea contained an anticodon not yet reported in any other gastropod. For phylogenetic analysis, we used the thirteen protein-coding genes from the mitochondrial genomes of M. leonina, T. diomedea, and seventy-one other gastropods. Phylogenetic analyses were performed for both the class Gastropoda and the subclass Opisthobranchia. Both Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses resulted in similar tree topologies. In the Opisthobranchia, the five orders represented in our study were monophyletic (Anaspidea, Cephalaspidea, Notaspidea, Nudibranchia, Sacoglossa. In Gastropoda, two of the three traditional subclasses, Opisthobranchia and Pulmonata, were not monophyletic. In contrast, four of the more recently named gastropod clades (Vetigastropoda

  16. Ingestion of plastic debris by Laysan albatrosses and wedge-tailed shearwaters in the Hawaiian Islands

    Fry, D.M.; Fefer, S.I.; Sileo, L.


    Surveys of Laysan Albatross and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters on Midway and Oahu Island, Hawaii, identified a high proportion of birds with plastic in the upper gastrointestinal tract, representing hazards to the health of adult birds and their chicks. Fifty Laysan Albatross chicks were examined for plastic items lodged within the upper digestive tract. Forty-five (90%) contained plastic, including 3 chicks having proventricular impactions or ulcerative lesions. Plastic items in 21 live albatross chicks weighed a mean of 35.7 g chicka??1 (range 1a??175 g). Four dead birds contained 14a??175 g (mean 76.7 g). Two of four adult albatross examined contained plastic in the gut. Laysan albatross chicks have the highest reported incidence and amount of ingested plastic of any seabird species. Twelve of 20 adult Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (60%) contained plastic particles 2a??4 mm in diameter. Impaction did not appear to be a significant hazard for adult shearwaters. Shearwater chicks were not examined. Chemical toxicity of plastic polymers, plasticizers and antioxidant additives is low, although many pigments are toxic and plastics may serve as vehicles for the adsorption of organochlorine pollutants from sea water, and the toxicity of plastics is unlikely to pose significant hazard compared to obstruction and impaction of the gut.

  17. Demographic Responses to Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in the Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans.

    David Costantini

    Full Text Available One of the major challenges in ecological research is the elucidation of physiological mechanisms that underlie the demographic traits of wild animals. We have assessed whether a marker of plasma oxidative stress (TBARS and plasma haptoglobin (protein of the acute inflammatory phase response measured at time t predict five demographic parameters (survival rate, return rate to the breeding colony, breeding probability, hatching and fledging success in sexually mature wandering albatrosses over the next four years (Diomedea exulans using a five-year individual-based dataset. Non-breeder males, but not females, having higher TBARS at time t had reduced future breeding probabilities; haptoglobin was not related to breeding probability. Neither TBARS nor haptoglobin predicted future hatching or fledging success. Haptoglobin had a marginally positive effect on female survival rate, while TBARS had a marginally negative effect on return rate. Our findings do not support the role for oxidative stress as a constraint of future reproductive success in the albatross. However, our data point to a potential mechanism underlying some aspects of reproductive senescence and survival. Our results also highlight that the study of the consequences of oxidative stress should consider the life-cycle stage of an individual and its reproductive history.

  18. Neuronal responses to water flow in the marine slug tritonia diomedea

    Jeffrey Blackwell


    Full Text Available The marine slug Tritonia diomedea must rely on its ability to touch and smell in order to navigate because it is blind. The primary factor that influences its crawling direction is the direction of water flow (caused by tides in nature. The sensory cells that detect flow and determine flow direction have not been identified. The lateral branch of Cerebral Nerve 2 (latCeN2 has been identified as the nerve that carries sensory axons to the brain from the flow receptors inthe oral tentacles. Backfilling this nerve to the brain resulted in the labeling of a number of cells located throughout the brain. Most of the labeled cells are concentrated in the cerebral ganglion where the nerve enters the brain. The medial and lateral branches of CeN2 were backfilled for comparison of the pattern of cells from each nerve. A map of the cells innervated by latCeN2 reveals the location of the stained cells. Extracellular recording from latCeN2 revealed its involvement in the detection of water flow and orientation. The nerve becomes active in response to water flow stimulation. Intracellular recordings of the electrical activity of these cells in a live animal will be the next step to determine if these cells are the flow receptors.

  19. Trends and tactics of mouse predation on Tristan Albatross Diomedea dabbenena chicks at Gough Island, South Atlantic Ocean

    Delia Davies


    Full Text Available The critically endangered Tristan Albatross Diomedea dabbenena breeds almost exclusively on Gough Island, in the central South Atlantic, where breeding success is much lower than other great albatrosses (Diomedea spp. worldwide. Most breeding failures occur during the chick-rearing stage, when other great albatrosses suffer few failures. This unusual pattern of breeding failure is assumed to be largely due to predation by introduced house mice Mus musculus, but there have been few direct observations of mouse attacks. We closely monitored the fates of 20 chicks in the Gonydale study colony (123 chicks in 2014 using motion-activated cameras to determine the causes of chick mortality. Only 5 of 20 chicks survived to fledge, and of the 15 failures, 14 (93% were due to mouse predation. One mouse-wounded chick was killed by a Southern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus; the rest died outright from their wounds within 3.9 ± 1.2 days of the first attack. Despite this high impact, most chicks were attacked by only 1-2 mice at once (maximum 9. The remaining 103 chicks in the study colony were checked less frequently, but the timing of failures was broadly similar to the 20 closely monitored nests, and the presence of mouse wounds on other chicks strongly suggests that mice were responsible for most chick deaths. Breeding success in the Gonydale study colony averages 28% from 2001 to 2014; far lower than the normal range of breeding success of Diomedea species occurring on islands free from introduced predators. Island-wide breeding success fell below 10% for the first time in 2014, making it even more urgent to eradicate mice from Gough Island.

  20. Diving of great shearwaters (Puffinus gravis in cold and warm water regions of the South Atlantic Ocean.

    Robert A Ronconi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Among the most widespread seabirds in the world, shearwaters of the genus Puffinus are also some of the deepest diving members of the Procellariiformes. Maximum diving depths are known for several Puffinus species, but dive depths or diving behaviour have never been recorded for great shearwaters (P. gravis, the largest member of this genus. This study reports the first high sampling rate (2 s of depth and diving behaviour for Puffinus shearwaters. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Time-depth recorders (TDRs were deployed on two female great shearwaters nesting on Inaccessible Island in the South Atlantic Ocean, recording 10 consecutive days of diving activity. Remote sensing imagery and movement patterns of 8 males tracked by satellite telemetry over the same period were used to identify probable foraging areas used by TDR-equipped females. The deepest and longest dive was to 18.9 m and lasted 40 s, but most (>50% dives were <2 m deep. Diving was most frequent near dawn and dusk, with <0.5% of dives occurring at night. The two individuals foraged in contrasting oceanographic conditions, one in cold (8 to 10°C water of the Sub-Antarctic Front, likely 1000 km south of the breeding colony, and the other in warmer (10 to 16°C water of the Sub-tropical Frontal Zone, at the same latitude as the colony, possibly on the Patagonian Shelf, 4000 km away. The cold water bird spent fewer days commuting, conducted four times as many dives as the warm water bird, dived deeper on average, and had a greater proportion of bottom time during dives. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: General patterns of diving activity were consistent with those of other shearwaters foraging in cold and warm water habitats. Great shearwaters are likely adapted to forage in a wide range of oceanographic conditions, foraging mostly with shallow dives but capable of deep diving.

  1. Attendance of scavenging seabirds at trawler discards off Galicia, Spain

    Julio Valeiras


    Full Text Available The occurrence of scavenger seabirds at fishing trawlers was studied off Galicia, Spain. A total of 9,368 seabirds of 23 species were recorded during 92 fishing operations in 1998 and 1999. The most common species were the yellow-legged and lesser black-backed gull (Larus cachinnans and L. fuscus, Sabine´s gull (L. sabini, the northern gannet (Morus bassanus, the great shearwater (Puffinus gravis, sooty shearwater (P. griseus, the Manx and Balearic shearwater (P. puffinus and P. mauretanicus, the great skua (Catharacta skua and terns (mainly Sterna hirundo and S. paradisaea. Other species occurred in small numbers: Leach´s petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa, the storm petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus, the little shearwater (Puffinus assimilis, Cory´s shearwater (Calonectris diomedea, the parasitic skua (Stercorarius parasiticus, the pomarine skua (S. pomarinus, the black-headed gull (Larus ridibundus, the glaucous gull (L. hyperboreus, the kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla, the sandwich tern (Sterna sandvicensis, the black tern (Chlidonias niger, the guillemot (Uria aalge and the little auk (Alle alle. The maximum number of seabirds recorded at a haul was 320. The maximum number of a particular species ranged from 120 great shearwaters to 250 yellow-legged/lesser black-backed gulls during a single haul. The differences in ship-follower species abundance are related to migratory movements but fisheries could also have a strong influence at a smaller scale on the distribution of seabirds off Galicia. The degree to which seabirds rely on fishery discards as food was not quantified, but may be important for several species.

  2. Seabird mortality from longline fishing in the Mediterranean Sea and Macaronesian waters: a review and a way forward

    John Cooper


    Full Text Available A country-by-country review of seabird mortality from longline fishing in the Mediterranean Sea and in Macaronesian waters shows a paucity of data. Of 12 Mediterranean countries known to undertake longlining, seabird mortality is only reported for six: France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain and Tunisia. Seabird mortality from longlining has been reported from the Azores (Portugal but not from the other Macaronesian Islands. Only for one country, Spain, is information on the levels of mortality available, suggesting that 4-6% of the local breeding population of Cory´s shearwater Calonectris diomedea may be killed annually, a level considered unsustainable for the long-term persistence of colonies. Cory´s shearwater is the most commonly affected species, although a number of Larus gull species are also being caught. There is insufficient knowledge to conclude whether any seabird species is at conservation risk within the region, but concern is expressed for Cory´s shearwater. It is recommended that Mediterranean and Macaronesian countries conduct assessments of their longline fisheries and seabird mortality in terms of the Food and Agriculture Organization´s International Plan of Action - Seabirds. Regional fishery organisations, such as ICCAT and GFCM, should commence the collection of seabird mortality data. A longline action plan for the affected seabird species should be produced.

  3. Recent changes in the summer distribution of the Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus off western France

    Pierre Yésou


    Full Text Available Surveys carried out in the 1980s showed that 8,000-10,000 Balearic shearwaters regularly gathered in inshore waters of central and northern Biscay, particularly off the coast of Vendée and in the Mor-Braz area, western France. This distribution, apparently linked to particular oceanographical conditions (thermal front, was strikingly overlapping with that of clupeid fish, particularly anchovies. Recent surveys (1999-2000 have shown that the species has become far less numerous in these "traditional" haunts. Conversely, its abundance has increased in the western Channel, some hundreds of kilometres to the North, during the 1990s. Reasons for this northward shift (e.g. changes in prey distribution due to fishing activities or water warming in Biscay remain hypothetical and further study is needed.

  4. Predictive ethoinformatics reveals the complex migratory behaviour of a pelagic seabird, the Manx Shearwater

    Freeman, Robin; Dean, Ben; Kirk, Holly; Leonard, Kerry; Phillips, Richard A.; Perrins, Chris M.; Guilford, Tim


    Understanding the behaviour of animals in the wild is fundamental to conservation efforts. Advances in bio-logging technologies have offered insights into the behaviour of animals during foraging, migration and social interaction. However, broader application of these systems has been limited by device mass, cost and longevity. Here, we use information from multiple logger types to predict individual behaviour in a highly pelagic, migratory seabird, the Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus). Using behavioural states resolved from GPS tracking of foraging during the breeding season, we demonstrate that individual behaviours can be accurately predicted during multi-year migrations from low cost, lightweight, salt-water immersion devices. This reveals a complex pattern of migratory stopovers: some involving high proportions of foraging, and others of rest behaviour. We use this technique to examine three consecutive years of global migrations, revealing the prominence of foraging behaviour during migration and the importance of highly productive waters during migratory stopover. PMID:23635496

  5. Plastic ingestion by Flesh-footed Shearwaters (Puffinus carneipes): Implications for fledgling body condition and the accumulation of plastic-derived chemicals

    Lavers, Jennifer L.; Bond, Alexander L.; Hutton, Ian


    To provide much needed quantitative data on the lethal and sublethal effects of plastic pollution on marine wildlife, we sampled breast feathers and stomach contents from Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) fledglings in eastern Australia. Birds with high levels of ingested plastic exhibited reduced body condition and increased contaminant load (p < 0.05). More than 60% of fledglings exceed international targets for plastic ingestion by seabirds, with 16% of fledglings failing these targets after a single feeding (range: 0.13–3.21 g of plastic/feeding). As top predators, seabirds are considered sentinels of the marine environment. The amount of plastic ingested and corresponding damage to Flesh-footed Shearwater fledglings is the highest reported for any marine vertebrate, suggesting the condition of the Australian marine environment is poor. These findings help explain the ongoing decline of this species and are worrying in light of increasing levels of plastic pollution in our oceans. - Highlights: • Proportion of the shearwater population ingesting plastic increased over four years. • Shearwater body condition is negatively influenced by the amount of ingested plastic. • Shearwater contaminant load is positively related to the amount of ingested plastic. • Many chicks exceed international targets for ingested plastic after a single feeding. • Plastic ingestion in this study is the highest reported for any marine vertebrate. - Flesh-footed Shearwaters ingest large quantities of marine plastic, which is correlated with poor body condition and increased concentrations of trace metals such as chromium

  6. Potential geographic distribution and conservation of Audubon's Shearwater, Puffinus lherminieri in Brazil

    Ana Cecília P.A. Lopes


    Full Text Available Audubon's Shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri Lesson 1839 is a tropical seabird occurring mainly between southern Canada and the southeast coast of Brazil. Puffinus lherminieri is considered Critically Endangered on the Brazilian Red List because it only occurs in two known localities, both of which contain very small populations. However, many offshore islands along the Brazilian coast are poorly known and the discovery of new colonies would be of considerable significance for the conservation of this species. The aim of this study was to estimate the potential geographic distribution of Audubon's Shearwater in Brazil, based on ecological niche model (ENM using Maxent algorithm with layers obtained from AquaMaps environmental dataset. The ENM was based on 37 records for reproduction areas in North and South America. The model yielded a very broad potential distribution, covering most of the Atlantic coast ranging from Brazil to the US. When filtered for islands along the Brazilian coast, the model indicates higher levels of environmental suitability near the states of São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Bahia. However, P. lherminieri prefers islands in environments with warm saline water. Thus, based on the influence of currents that act on the Brazilian coast we can infer undiscovered colonies are most likely to occur on islands on coast of Bahia, Espírito Santo and extreme north of the Rio de Janeiro. These should be intensively surveyed while the islands south of Cabo Frio should be discarded. The existence of new populations would have profound effects on the conservation status of this enigmatic and rarely seen seabird.

  7. Αναπαραγωγική οικολογία του είδους Calonectris diomedea (Aves, Procellariiformes) στις νήσους Στροφάδες

    Καρρής, Γεώργιος


    Οι ωκεανοί και γενικότερα οι θάλασσες όπως η Μεσόγειος αποτελούν πολυπαραγοντικά και δυναμικά οικοσυστήματα με ακανόνιστες και πολλές φορές μη προβλέψιμες τροφικές πηγές, γεγονός που επιβάλλει στα θαλασσοπούλια μία στρατηγική στενούς συνεργασίας με τις διακυμάνσεις των ωκεανογραφικών παραμέτρων και της επακόλουθης διακύμανσης των αποθεμάτων τροφής. Η γνώση και πλήρης κατανόηση των μεταβολών που συμβαίνουν στα θαλάσσια οικοσυστήματα, επιβάλλει τη συλλογή και επεξεργασία χωροχρονικών πληροφοριώ...

  8. Breeding biology of a winter-breeding procellariiform in the North Atlantic, the Macaronesian shearwater Puffinus lherminieri baroli.

    Fagundes, Ana Isabel; Ramos, Jaime A; Ramos, Urtelinda; Medeiros, Renata; Paiva, Vitor H


    The breeding success of burrow-nesting seabirds may be influenced by both nest site characteristics and oceanographic conditions influencing food availability at sea. In this study we describe the breeding biology of the winter-breeding Macaronesian shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri baroli), including nest site characteristics and interspecific competition. We also evaluate the possible effects of changing oceanographic conditions on breeding phenology and breeding success. The study was carried out over two breeding seasons on two islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, Cima Islet and Selvagem Grande. Oceanographic characteristics differed between years. On a regional scale, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index was low and negative in 2011, and on a local scale, birds used areas with significantly lower values of chlorophyll a concentration and significantly higher values of sea surface temperature anomalies. Hatching success was higher in 2012 than in 2011. At both colonies, egg cracking was the main cause of hatching failure, but in 2011 several eggs on Selvagem Grande were deserted. In 2012 birds laid earlier and chicks had longer wings and were heavier. At both colonies, nests that were deeper, were sheltered from prevailing winds and had small chambers and a soil substrate had a higher probability of being used successfully by the birds. Nests occupied solely by Macaronesian shearwaters were much deeper and had less volume than nests shared with other species. Our study suggests that the breeding success of Macaronesian shearwaters is strongly related to nest site characteristics and that at-sea environmental conditions exert a strong influence on reproductive parameters, with birds breeding in a poor year (evaluated in terms of lower marine productivity) laying much later and their chicks growing at a slower rate than in a good year. The influence of nest site characteristics and environmental conditions may be very important for understanding the breeding

  9. Selectivity of flesh-footed shearwaters for plastic colour: Evidence for differential provisioning in adults and fledglings.

    Lavers, Jennifer L; Bond, Alexander L


    The ingestion of plastic by seabirds has been used as an indicator of population and ocean health. However, few studies have examined adults and juveniles of the same species concurrent with the availability of plastic in the local marine environment. In King George Sound (KGS), Western Australia, 13% of adult flesh-footed shearwaters (Ardenna carneipes) and 90% of fledglings contained plastic items in their digestive tract. On Lord Howe Island (LHI), New South Wales, 75% of adult shearwaters and 100% of fledglings contained plastic. Ingested items were assessed using Jaccard's Index (where J = 0 indicates complete dissimilarity and J = 1 complete similarity). The colour of items ingested by self- and chick-provisioning shearwaters from KGS exhibited broad overlap with plastic available in the local environment (J = 0.78-0.80), and plastic in adults and fledglings from LHI were less similar to those available (J = 0.31-0.58). Additional data on seabird colour selection would improve our understanding of the factors influencing the behaviour of ingesting plastic, and its contribution to the decline of some species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Identifying Important Atlantic Areas for the conservation of Balearic shearwaters: Spatial overlap with conservation areas

    Pérez-Roda, Amparo; Delord, Karine; Boué, Amélie; Arcos, José Manuel; García, David; Micol, Thierry; Weimerskirch, Henri; Pinaud, David; Louzao, Maite


    Marine protected areas (MPAs) are considered one of the main tools in both fisheries and conservation management to protect threatened species and their habitats around the globe. However, MPAs are underrepresented in marine environments compared to terrestrial environments. Within this context, we studied the Atlantic non-breeding distribution of the southern population of Balearic shearwaters (Puffinus mauretanicus) breeding in Eivissa during the 2011-2012 period based on global location sensing (GLS) devices. Our objectives were (1) to identify overall Important Atlantic Areas (IAAs) from a southern population, (2) to describe spatio-temporal patterns of oceanographic habitat use, and (3) to assess whether existing conservation areas (Natura 2000 sites and marine Important Bird Areas (IBAs)) cover the main IAAs of Balearic shearwaters. Our results highlighted that the Atlantic staging (from June to October in 2011) dynamic of the southern population was driven by individual segregation at both spatial and temporal scales. Individuals ranged in the North-East Atlantic over four main IAAs (Bay of Biscay: BoB, Western Iberian shelf: WIS, Gulf of Cadiz: GoC, West of Morocco: WoM). While most individuals spent more time on the WIS or in the GoC, a small number of birds visited IAAs at the extremes of their Atlantic distribution range (i.e., BoB and WoM). The chronology of the arrivals to the IAAs showed a latitudinal gradient with northern areas reached earlier during the Atlantic staging. The IAAs coincided with the most productive areas (higher chlorophyll a values) in the NE Atlantic between July and October. The spatial overlap between IAAs and conservation areas was higher for Natura 2000 sites than marine IBAs (areas with and without legal protection, respectively). Concerning the use of these areas, a slightly higher proportion of estimated positions fell within marine IBAs compared to designated Natura 2000 sites, with Spanish and Portuguese conservation

  11. Population Structure and Dispersal Patterns within and between Atlantic and Mediterranean Populations of a Large-Range Pelagic Seabird

    Genovart, Meritxell; Thibault, Jean-Claude; Igual, José Manuel; Bauzà-Ribot, Maria del Mar; Rabouam, Corinne; Bretagnolle, Vincent


    Dispersal is critically linked to the demographic and evolutionary trajectories of populations, but in most seabird species it may be difficult to estimate. Using molecular tools, we explored population structure and the spatial dispersal pattern of a highly pelagic but philopatric seabird, the Cory's shearwater Calonectris diomedea. Microsatellite fragments were analysed from samples collected across almost the entire breeding range of the species. To help disentangle the taxonomic status of the two subspecies described, the Atlantic form C. d. borealis and the Mediterranean form C. d. diomedea, we analysed genetic divergence between subspecies and quantified both historical and recent migration rates between the Mediterranean and Atlantic basins. We also searched for evidence of isolation by distance (IBD) and addressed spatial patterns of gene flow. We found a low genetic structure in the Mediterranean basin. Conversely, strong genetic differentiation appeared in the Atlantic basin. Even if the species was mostly philopatric (97%), results suggest recent dispersal between basins, especially from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean (aprox. 10% of migrants/generation across the last two generations). Long-term gene flow analyses also suggested an historical exchange between basins (about 70 breeders/generation). Spatial analysis of genetic variation indicates that distance is not the main factor in shaping genetic structure in this species. Given our results we recommend gathering more data before concluded whether these taxa should be treated as two species or subspecies. PMID:23950986

  12. Buying years to extinction: is compensatory mitigation for marine bycatch a sufficient conservation measure for long-lived seabirds?

    José Manuel Igual

    Full Text Available Along the lines of the 'polluter pays principle', it has recently been proposed that the local long-line fishing industry should fund eradication of terrestrial predators at seabird breeding colonies, as a compensatory measure for the bycatch caused by the fishing activity. The measure is economically sound, but a quantitative and reliable test of its biological efficacy has never been conducted. Here, we investigated the demographic consequences of predator eradication for Cory's shearwater Calonectris diomedea, breeding in the Mediterranean, using a population model that integrates demographic rates estimated from individual life-history information with experimental measures of predation and habitat structure. We found that similar values of population growth rate can be obtained by different combinations of habitat characteristics, predator abundance and adult mortality, which explains the persistence of shearwater colonies in islands with introduced predators. Even so, given the empirically obtained values of survival, all combinations of predator abundance and habitat characteristics projected a decline in shearwater numbers. Perturbation analyses indicated that the value and the sensitivity of shearwater population growth rates were affected by all covariates considered and their interactions. A decrease in rat abundance delivered only a small increase in the population growth rate, whereas a change in adult survival (a parameter independent of rat abundance had the strongest impact on population dynamics. When adult survival is low, rat eradication would allow us to "buy" years before extinction but does not reverse the process. Rat eradication can therefore be seen as an emergency measure if threats on adult survival are eliminated in the medium-term period. For species with low fecundity and long life expectancy, our results suggest that rat control campaigns are not a sufficient, self-standing measure to compensate the biological toll

  13. Physical and chemical effects of ingested plastic debris on short-tailed shearwaters, Puffinus tenuirostris, in the North Pacific Ocean

    Yamashita, Rei; Takada, Hideshige; Fukuwaka, Masa-aki; Watanuki, Yutaka


    We investigated the plastics ingested by short-tailed shearwaters, Puffinus tenuirostris, that were accidentally caught during experimental fishing in the North Pacific Ocean in 2003 and 2005. The mean mass of plastics found in the stomach was 0.23 g per bird (n = 99). Plastic mass did not correlate with body weight. Total PCB (sum of 24 congeners) concentrations in the abdominal adipose tissue of 12 birds ranged from 45 to 529 ng/g-lipid. Although total PCBs or higher-chlorinated congeners, ...

  14. Geolocators Reveal Migration and Pre-Breeding Behaviour of the Critically Endangered Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus

    Guilford, Tim; Wynn, Russell; McMinn, Miguel; Rodríguez, Ana; Fayet, Annette; Maurice, Lou; Jones, Alice; Meier, Rhiannon


    Using combined miniature archival light and salt-water immersion loggers, we characterise the year-round individual at-sea movements of Europe's only critically endangered seabird, the Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus, for the first time. Focusing on the non-breeding period, we show that all of the 26 breeding birds tracked from their breeding site on Mallorca in the Mediterranean Sea successfully made a 2–4 month migration into the Atlantic Ocean, where they utilised well-defined core areas off Portuguese and French coasts. As well as identifying high-risk areas in the Atlantic, our results confirm that breeding birds spend most of the year concentrated around productive waters of the Iberian shelf in the western Mediterranean. Migration phenology appeared largely unrelated to the subsequent (distinctly synchronous) breeding attempt, suggesting that any carry-over effects were compensated for during a long pre-laying period spent over winter in the Mediterranean. Using the light and salt-water immersion data alone we were also able to characterise the pattern of pre-laying visits to the colony in considerable detail, demonstrating that breeding pairs appear to coordinate their over-day visits using a high frequency of night-time visits throughout the winter. Our study shows that geolocation technology is a valuable tool for assessing the spatial distribution of risks to this critically endangered species, and also provides a low-impact method for remotely observing the detailed behaviour of seabird species that may be sensitive to disturbance from traditional study methods. PMID:22470471

  15. Distribución, abundancia y estructura poblacional del langostino rojo de profundidad Haliporoides diomedeae (Crustácea: Decapoda: Solenoceridae frente a la zona norte de Perú (2007-2008 Distribution, abundance, and population structure of deep red shrimp Haliporoides diomedeae (Crustacea: Decapoda: Solenoceridae off northern Peru (2007-2008

    Edward Barriga


    Full Text Available Se determinó la distribución, abundancia relativa y estructura poblacional de Haliporoides diomedeae frente a la zona norte de Perú (3°30'S-10°00'S, con los resultados de dos cruceros desarrollados en 2007 y 2008 a bordo del B/O Miguel Oliver, que realizó investigaciones de la fauna bentodemersal entre 200 y 1.500 m de profundidad, mediante un muestreo al azar estratificado de arrastre de fondo. En 122 lances realizados en cuatro sectores y tres estratos se capturó un total de 48.056 kg, compuestos por ~347 especies de peces e invertebrados. H. diomedeae fue la especie de langostino más importante en las capturas (411 kg, con los mayores niveles de abundancia entre 600 y 1.600 m al norte de los 7°S, con valores medios de captura por unidad de área (CPUA entre 83,4 y 211 kg km-2 y una biomasa total estimada de 1.139,74 ton (± 245,6 ton. Las hembras presentaron una longitud cefalotorácica media de 40,6 mm, rango de 14,5 y 74,5 mm y grupo modal dominante de 30 mm, mientras que en los machos la media fue de 30,6 mm, rango 16 a 33 mm y grupo modal principal de 27 mm; para ambos sexos se identificaron seis grupos modales, dimorfismo sexual y gradiente batimétrica. La relación talla-peso fue de tipo alométrico. En general, las características de distribución, abundancia y estructura poblacional de H. diomedeae permiten considerarla como una especie potencialmente explotable en el norte del mar peruano.The distribution, relative abundance, and population structure of Haliporoides diomedeae was determined off northern Peru (3°30'S-10°00'S by analyzing data from two cruises carried out in 2007 and 2008 on board the B/O Miguel Oliver to assess the bentho-demersal fauna between 200 and 1,500 m depth, us-ing a stratified random bottom trawl design. The total catch from the 122 hauls (covering four sectors and three strata was 48,056 kg, with ~347 fish and invertebrate species. H. diomedeae was the most important shrimp in the catches (411

  16. Deep mRNA sequencing of the Tritonia diomedea brain transcriptome provides access to gene homologues for neuronal excitability, synaptic transmission and peptidergic signalling.

    Adriano Senatore

    Full Text Available The sea slug Tritonia diomedea (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Nudibranchia, has a simple and highly accessible nervous system, making it useful for studying neuronal and synaptic mechanisms underlying behavior. Although many important contributions have been made using Tritonia, until now, a lack of genetic information has impeded exploration at the molecular level.We performed Illumina sequencing of central nervous system mRNAs from Tritonia, generating 133.1 million 100 base pair, paired-end reads. De novo reconstruction of the RNA-Seq data yielded a total of 185,546 contigs, which partitioned into 123,154 non-redundant gene clusters (unigenes. BLAST comparison with RefSeq and Swiss-Prot protein databases, as well as mRNA data from other invertebrates (gastropod molluscs: Aplysia californica, Lymnaea stagnalis and Biomphalaria glabrata; cnidarian: Nematostella vectensis revealed that up to 76,292 unigenes in the Tritonia transcriptome have putative homologues in other databases, 18,246 of which are below a more stringent E-value cut-off of 1x10-6. In silico prediction of secreted proteins from the Tritonia transcriptome shotgun assembly (TSA produced a database of 579 unique sequences of secreted proteins, which also exhibited markedly higher expression levels compared to other genes in the TSA.Our efforts greatly expand the availability of gene sequences available for Tritonia diomedea. We were able to extract full length protein sequences for most queried genes, including those involved in electrical excitability, synaptic vesicle release and neurotransmission, thus confirming that the transcriptome will serve as a useful tool for probing the molecular correlates of behavior in this species. We also generated a neurosecretome database that will serve as a useful tool for probing peptidergic signalling systems in the Tritonia brain.

  17. Breeding short-tailed shearwaters buffer local environmental variability in south-eastern Australia by foraging in Antarctic waters.

    Berlincourt, Maud; Arnould, John P Y


    Establishing patterns of movements of free-ranging animals in marine ecosystems is crucial for a better understanding of their feeding ecology, life history traits and conservation. As central place foragers, the habitat use of nesting seabirds is heavily influenced by the resources available within their foraging range. We tested the prediction that during years with lower resource availability, short-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus tenuirostris) provisioning chicks should increase their foraging effort, by extending their foraging range and/or duration, both when foraging in neritic (short trips) and distant oceanic waters (long trips). Using both GPS and geolocation data-loggers, at-sea movements and habitat use were investigated over three breeding seasons (2012-14) at two colonies in southeastern Australia. Most individuals performed daily short foraging trips over the study period and inter-annual variations observed in foraging parameters where mainly due to few individuals from Griffith Island, performing 2-day trips in 2014. When performing long foraging trips, this study showed that individuals from both colonies exploited similar zones in the Southern Ocean. The results of this study suggest that individuals could increase their foraging range while exploiting distant feeding zones, which could indicate that short-tailed shearwaters forage in Antarctic waters not only to maintain their body condition but may also do so to buffer against local environmental stochasticity. Lower breeding performances were associated with longer foraging trips to distant oceanic waters in 2013 and 2014 indicating they could mediate reductions in food availability around the breeding colonies by extending their foraging range in the Southern Ocean. This study highlights the importance of foraging flexibility as a fundamental aspect of life history in coastal/pelagic marine central place foragers living in highly variable environments and how these foraging strategies are use to

  18. Plastic ingestion by Flesh-footed Shearwaters (Puffinus carneipes): Implications for fledgling body condition and the accumulation of plastic-derived chemicals.

    Lavers, Jennifer L; Bond, Alexander L; Hutton, Ian


    To provide much needed quantitative data on the lethal and sublethal effects of plastic pollution on marine wildlife, we sampled breast feathers and stomach contents from Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) fledglings in eastern Australia. Birds with high levels of ingested plastic exhibited reduced body condition and increased contaminant load (p plastic ingestion by seabirds, with 16% of fledglings failing these targets after a single feeding (range: 0.13-3.21 g of plastic/feeding). As top predators, seabirds are considered sentinels of the marine environment. The amount of plastic ingested and corresponding damage to Flesh-footed Shearwater fledglings is the highest reported for any marine vertebrate, suggesting the condition of the Australian marine environment is poor. These findings help explain the ongoing decline of this species and are worrying in light of increasing levels of plastic pollution in our oceans. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Antibiotic resistance patterns in fecal bacteria isolated from Christmas shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis) and masked booby (Sula dactylatra) at remote Easter Island.

    Ardiles-Villegas, Karen; González-Acuña, Daniel; Waldenström, Jonas; Olsen, Björn; Hernández, Jorge


    Antibiotic use and its implications have been discussed extensively in the past decades. This situation has global consequences when antibiotic resistance becomes widespread in the intestinal bacterial flora of stationary and migratory birds. This study investigated the incidence of fecal bacteria and general antibiotic resistance, with special focus on extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) isolates, in two species of seabirds at remote Easter Island. We identified 11 species of bacteria from masked booby (Sula dactylatra) and Christmas shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis); five species of gram-negative bacilli, four species of Streptococcus (Enterococcus), and 2 species of Staphylococcus. In addition, 6 types of bacteria were determined barely to the genus level. General antibiotic susceptibility was measured in the 30 isolated Enterobacteriaceae to 11 antibiotics used in human and veterinary medicine. The 10 isolates that showed a phenotypic ESBL profile were verified by clavulanic acid inhibition in double mixture discs with cefpodoxime, and two ESBL strains were found, one strain in masked booby and one strain in Christmas shearwater. The two bacteria harboring the ESBL type were identified as Serratia odorifera biotype 1, which has zoonotic importance. Despite minimal human presence in the masked booby and Christmas shearwater habitats, and the extreme geographic isolation of Easter Island, we found several multiresistant bacteria and even two isolates with ESBL phenotypes. The finding of ESBLs has animal and public health significance and is of potential concern, especially because the investigation was limited in size and indicated that antibiotic-resistant bacteria now are distributed globally.

  20. Rare birds in Slovenia in 2016 – Slovenian Rarities Committee Report

    Hanžel Jurij


    Full Text Available This report by the Slovenian Rarities Committee presents records of rare bird species in Slovenia in 2016, with some addenda for previous years. The numbers in brackets refer to the number of records (first number and individuals (second number recorded between 1 Jan 1950 and 31 Dec 2015. Since 1 Jan 2013, submission to the Committee has been required for 37 additional species, 17 of which are regional rarities. Records of these species are not numbered, since records from previous years were not collected by the Committee. Two new species, Scopoli’s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea and Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea, were added to Category A. Other notable observations were the second record of Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes, third and fourth records of Pallid Swift Apus pallidus, fifth to seventh records of Long-legged Buzzard Buteo rufinus and the sixth and seventh records of Gannet Morus bassanus. Twelve records of Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus are an all-time annual high. Among Category E species, the Hooded Merganser Lophodytes cucullatus was recorded for the second time. The list of birds recorded in Slovenia (as of 31 Dec 2016 contains 388 species (373 in Category A, 6 in Category B, 9 exclusively in Category C; 4 species are both in Categories A and C. Category D contains 6 species, while Category E contains 38, two of which are classified into Subcategory E*. These two categories are not part of the list.

  1. GPS tracking for mapping seabird mortality induced by light pollution.

    Rodríguez, Airam; Rodríguez, Beneharo; Negro, Juan J


    Light pollution and its consequences on ecosystems are increasing worldwide. Knowledge on the threshold levels of light pollution at which significant ecological impacts emerge and the size of dark refuges to maintain natural nocturnal processes is crucial to mitigate its negative consequences. Seabird fledglings are attracted by artificial lights when they leave their nest at night, causing high mortality. We used GPS data-loggers to track the flights of Cory's shearwater Calonectris diomedea fledglings from nest-burrows to ground, and to evaluate the light pollution levels of overflown areas on Tenerife, Canary Islands, using nocturnal, high-resolution satellite imagery. Birds were grounded at locations closer than 16 km from colonies in their maiden flights, and 50% were rescued within a 3 km radius from the nest-site. Most birds left the nests in the first three hours after sunset. Rescue locations showed radiance values greater than colonies, and flight distance was positively related to light pollution levels. Breeding habitat alteration by light pollution was more severe for inland colonies. We provide scientific-based information to manage dark refuges facilitating that fledglings from inland colonies reach the sea successfully. We also offer methodological approaches useful for other critically threatened petrel species grounded by light pollution.

  2. Combined spatio-temporal impacts of climate and longline fisheries on the survival of a trans-equatorial marine migrant.

    Raül Ramos

    Full Text Available Predicting the impact of human activities and their derivable consequences, such as global warming or direct wildlife mortality, is increasingly relevant in our changing world. Due to their particular life history traits, long-lived migrants are amongst the most endangered and sensitive group of animals to these harming effects. Our ability to identify and quantify such anthropogenic threats in both breeding and wintering grounds is, therefore, of key importance in the field of conservation biology. Using long-term capture-recapture data (34 years, 4557 individuals and year-round tracking data (4 years, 100 individuals of a trans-equatorial migrant, the Cory's shearwater (Calonectris diomedea, we investigated the impact of longline fisheries and climatic variables in both breeding and wintering areas on the most important demographic trait of this seabird, i.e. adult survival. Annual adult survival probability was estimated at 0.914±0.022 on average, declining throughout 1978-1999 but recovering during the last decade (2005-2011. Our results suggest that both the incidental bycatch associated with longline fisheries and high sea surface temperatures (indirectly linked to food availability; SST increased mortality rates during the long breeding season (March-October. Shearwater survival was also negatively affected during the short non-breeding season (December-February by positive episodes of the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI. Indirect negative effects of climate at both breeding (SST and wintering grounds (SOI had a greater impact on survival than longliner activity, and indeed these climatic factors are those which are expected to present more unfavourable trends in the future. Our work underlines the importance of considering both breeding and wintering habitats as well as precise schedules/phenology when assessing the global role of the local impacts on the dynamics of migratory species.

  3. A switch in the Atlantic Oscillation correlates with inter-annual changes in foraging location and food habits of Macaronesian shearwaters (Puffinus baroli) nesting on two islands of the sub-tropical Atlantic Ocean

    Ramos, Jaime A.; Isabel Fagundes, Ana; Xavier, José C.; Fidalgo, Vera; Ceia, Filipe R.; Medeiros, Renata; Paiva, Vitor H.


    Changes in oceanographic conditions, shaped by changes in large-scale atmospheric phenomena such as the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), alters the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems. Such signals are readily captured by marine top predators, given that their use of foraging habitats and diets change when the NAO changes. In this study we assessed sexual, seasonal and annual (2010/11-2012/13) differences in diet, trophic and isotopic niche (using δ15N and δ13C values of whole blood, 1st primary, 8th secondary and breast feathers), foraging locations and oceanographic variation within foraging areas for Macaronesian shearwaters' (Puffinus baroli) during two years of contrasting NAO values, and between two sub-tropical islands 330 km apart in the North Atlantic Ocean, Cima Islet and Selvagem Grande. These two locations provide contrasting oceanographic foraging regimes for the birds, because the second colony is much closer to the African coast (375 vs 650 km), and, therefore, to the upwelling area of the Canary Current. There was a marked environmental perturbation in 2010/2011, related with a negative NAO Index and lower marine productivity (lower concentration of Chlorophyll a). This event corresponded to the Macaronesian shearwaters feeding farther north and west, which was readily seen in change of both δ15N and δ13C values, and in a higher intake of cephalopods. Diet and stable isotopes did not differ between sexes. Regurgitation analysis indicate a dominance of cephalopods in both islands, but prey fish were important for Selvagem Grande in 2012 and cephalopods for Cima Islet in 2011. Both δ15N and δ13C values were significantly higher for Cima Islet than for Selvagem Grande, irrespective of year, season and tissue sampled. SIBER analysis showed smaller isotopic niches for the breeding period. Our study suggests that during years of poor environmental conditions Macaronesian shearwaters shift their foraging location to more pelagic waters

  4. A long-term retrospective study on rehabilitation of seabirds in Gran Canaria Island, Spain (2003-2013.

    Natalia Montesdeoca

    Full Text Available The aims of this study were to analyze the causes of morbidity and mortality in a large population of seabirds admitted to the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (TWRC in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, from 2003 to 2013, and to analyze the outcomes of the rehabilitation process.We included 1,956 seabirds (133 dead on admission and 1,823 admitted alive in this study. Causes of morbidity were classified into nine categories: light pollution (fallout, fishing gear interaction, crude oil, poisoning/intoxication, other traumas, metabolic/nutritional disorder, orphaned young birds, other causes, and unknown/undetermined. The crude and stratified (by causes of admission rates of the three final disposition categories (euthanasia Er, unassisted mortality Mr, and release Rr, the time until death, and the length of stay were also studied for the seabirds admitted alive.Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis was the species most frequently admitted (46.52%, followed by Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea borealis (20.09%. The most frequent causes of morbidity were light pollution (fallout (25.81%, poisoning/intoxication (24.69%, and other traumas (18.14%. The final disposition rates were: Er = 15.35%, Mr = 16.29%, and Rr = 68.34%. The highest Er was observed in the 'other traumas' category (58.08%. Seabirds admitted due to metabolic/nutritional disorder had the highest Mr (50%. The highest Rr was observed in the light pollution (fallout category (99.20%.This survey provides useful information for the conservation of several seabird species. We suggest that at least the stratified analysis by causes of admission of the three final disposition rates, and the parameters time until death and length of stay at the center should be included in the outcome research of the rehabilitation of seabirds. The high release rate for seabirds (68.34% achieved at the TWRC emphasizes the importance of wildlife rehabilitation centers for the conservation of seabirds.

  5. Habitat suitability modeling for the endangered Hawaiian petrel on Kauai and analysis of predicted habitat overlap with the Newell’s shearwater

    Jeff R. Troy


    Full Text Available The endangered Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis is endemic to the main Hawaiian Islands and has undergone a breeding range contraction since the arrival of humans. Using abiotic and biotic environmental variables, we developed a terrestrial habitat suitability model for the species on the island of Kauai based on contemporary sites where the species is known (or strongly suspected to nest, as well as a habitat/threat-isolation index that combined predictions from this suitability model with spatial information on two anthropogenic threats to the species. After accounting for large-scale relative spatial positioning of sites in modeling procedures, the habitat suitability model suggests that the probability that a location on Kauai could be suitable for Hawaiian petrel nesting activity increases with increasing mean annual wind speed, and may also increase somewhat with increasing slope and native vegetation cover. The habitat suitability model (which does not incorporate spatial information on anthropogenic threats to the species predicts approximately 74 km2 of Kauai, mostly in the interior of the island, as being potentially suitable with predicted probability > 0.7 for Hawaiian petrel terrestrial activity, and about 35 km2 with predicted probability > 0.9. Encouragingly, almost 50 km2 of land with predicted probability > 0.7 and almost 24 km2 with predicted probability > 0.9 is currently protected, being located on either government or private reserve land. Based on the habitat/threat-isolation index, most land predicted to be both suitable (based on environmental variables and as isolated from threats as a large number of the known contemporary Hawaiian petrel sites, is found in government and private reserves. Some degree of predicted habitat overlap between the Hawaiian petrel and Newell’s shearwater (Puffinus newelli, another Hawaiian seabird of conservation concern, suggests that some of the same larger tracts of land


    The wandering albatrosses of the two island groups form a metapopulation that ideally should be conserved as a single unit. It is suggested that France and South Africa collaborate through the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels to effect an improved conservation status for the wandering albatrosses ...

  7. A long-term retrospective study on rehabilitation of seabirds in Gran Canaria Island, Spain (2003-2013)

    Montesdeoca, Natalia; Calabuig, Pascual; Corbera, Juan A.


    Aims The aims of this study were to analyze the causes of morbidity and mortality in a large population of seabirds admitted to the Tafira Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (TWRC) in Gran Canaria Island, Spain, from 2003 to 2013, and to analyze the outcomes of the rehabilitation process. Methods We included 1,956 seabirds (133 dead on admission and 1,823 admitted alive) in this study. Causes of morbidity were classified into nine categories: light pollution (fallout), fishing gear interaction, crude oil, poisoning/intoxication, other traumas, metabolic/nutritional disorder, orphaned young birds, other causes, and unknown/undetermined. The crude and stratified (by causes of admission) rates of the three final disposition categories (euthanasia Er, unassisted mortality Mr, and release Rr), the time until death, and the length of stay were also studied for the seabirds admitted alive. Results Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis) was the species most frequently admitted (46.52%), followed by Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea borealis) (20.09%). The most frequent causes of morbidity were light pollution (fallout) (25.81%), poisoning/intoxication (24.69%), and other traumas (18.14%). The final disposition rates were: Er = 15.35%, Mr = 16.29%, and Rr = 68.34%. The highest Er was observed in the ‘other traumas’ category (58.08%). Seabirds admitted due to metabolic/nutritional disorder had the highest Mr (50%). The highest Rr was observed in the light pollution (fallout) category (99.20%). Conclusions This survey provides useful information for the conservation of several seabird species. We suggest that at least the stratified analysis by causes of admission of the three final disposition rates, and the parameters time until death and length of stay at the center should be included in the outcome research of the rehabilitation of seabirds. The high release rate for seabirds (68.34%) achieved at the TWRC emphasizes the importance of wildlife rehabilitation

  8. The wandering albatross Diomedea exulans is classified as ...


    maximum ENSO (Niño 3) index, whereas from 1984–2000 the annual survival rates of breeding adults were negatively correlated with Japanese pelagic longline fishing effort in the southern Indian Ocean. Adult survival rates were significantly correlated with those on neighbouring Possession Island, Crozet Islands, but ...

  9. The wandering albatross Diomedea exulans is classified as ...


    (Gales 1998, Crawford and Cooper 2003). Information ... as well as in continental waters surrounding southern. Africa and ... 2001). Wandering albatrosses are vulnerable to being killed by ...... R. P., ROBERTSON, G. and G. N. TUCK 2002a —.

  10. Estimating population size of a nocturnal burrow-nesting seabird using acoustic monitoring and habitat mapping

    Steffen Oppel


    Full Text Available Population size assessments for nocturnal burrow-nesting seabirds are logistically challenging because these species are active in colonies only during darkness and often nest on remote islands where manual inspections of breeding burrows are not feasible. Many seabird species are highly vocal, and recent technological innovations now make it possible to record and quantify vocal activity in seabird colonies. Here we test the hypothesis that remotely recorded vocal activity in Cory’s shearwater (Calonectris borealis breeding colonies in the North Atlantic increases with nest density, and combined this relationship with cliff habitat mapping to estimate the population size of Cory’s shearwaters on the island of Corvo (Azores. We deployed acoustic recording devices in 9 Cory’s shearwater colonies of known size to establish a relationship between vocal activity and local nest density (slope = 1.07, R2 = 0.86, p < 0.001. We used this relationship to predict the nest density in various cliff habitat types and produced a habitat map of breeding cliffs to extrapolate nest density around the island of Corvo. The mean predicted nest density on Corvo ranged from 6.6 (2.1–16.2 to 27.8 (19.5–36.4 nests/ha. Extrapolation of habitat-specific nest densities across the cliff area of Corvo resulted in an estimate of 6326 Cory’s shearwater nests (95% confidence interval: 3735–10,524. This population size estimate is similar to previous assessments, but is too imprecise to detect moderate changes in population size over time. While estimating absolute population size from acoustic recordings may not be sufficiently precise, the strong positive relationship that we found between local nest density and recorded calling rate indicates that passive acoustic monitoring may be useful to document relative changes in seabird populations over time.

  11. Weights, hematology and serum chemistry of seven species of free-ranging tropical pelagic seabirds

    Work, Thierry M.


    I established reference values for weight, hematology, and serum chemistry for seven species of free-ranging Hawaiian tropical pelagic seabirds comprising three orders (Procellariiformes, Pelecaniformes, Charadriiformes) and six families (Procellariidae, Phaethontidae, Diomedeidae, Sulidae, Fregatidae, and Laridae). Species examined included 84 Hawaiian dark-rumped petrels (Pterodoma phaeopygia), 90 wedge-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus pacificus), 151 Laysan albatrosses (Diomedea immutabilis), 69 red-footed boobies (Sula sula), 154 red-tailed tropicbirds (Phaeton rubricauda), 90 great frigatebirds (Fregata minor), and 72 sooty terns (Sterna fuscata). Hematocrit, total plasma solids, total and differential white cell counts, serum glucose, calcium, phosphorus, uric acid, total protein, albumin, globulin, aspartate aminotransferase and creatinine phosphokinase were analyzed. Among and within species, hematology and chemistry values varied with age, sex, season, and island of collection. Despite this variation, order-wide trends were observed.

  12. Fine-scale tracking and diet information of a marine predator reveals the origin and contrasting spatial distribution of prey

    Alonso, Hany; Granadeiro, José P.; Dias, Maria P.; Catry, Teresa; Catry, Paulo


    The distribution of many marine organisms is still poorly understood, particularly in oceanic regions. Seabirds, as aerial predators which cover extensive areas across the oceans, can potentially be used to enhance our knowledge on the distribution and abundance of their prey. In this study, we combined tracking data and dietary data from individual Cory's shearwaters Calonectris borealis (n = 68) breeding in Selvagens archipelago, Madeira, Portugal, during the chick-rearing periods of 2011 and 2016, in order to infer prey origin within shearwaters' main foraging areas. The digestion state of each prey item in the diet was assessed and classified; and compared to digestion states from known prey items fed to captive birds. In a novel approach, we combined tracking data with information on the prey digestion duration and data on the transit times from foraging grounds to the colony to estimate the location of prey capture. We found a consistent heterogeneity in prey distribution across four different marine domains: Selvagens, deep-sea, seamounts, and continental shelf. In oceanic areas, the chub mackerel Scomber colias, the main prey of Cory's shearwaters, was strongly associated with seamounts and insular shelves, whereas oceanic species like pilot-fish, flying-squid, flying-fish were clearly associated with deep-sea waters. Sardines Sardina pilchardus, anchovies Engraulis encrasicolus and other coastal species were associated with the African shelf. Prey origin assignment was robust across three different sets of assumptions, and was also supported by information on the digestion state of prey collected over a large independent sampling period (671 samples, collected in 2008-2010). The integration of fine-scale dietary and foraging trip data from marine predators provides a new framework to gain insights into the distribution and abundance of prey species in poorly known oceanic areas.

  13. A Review of Plastic-Associated Pressures: Cetaceans of the Mediterranean Sea and Eastern Australian Shearwaters as Case Studies

    Maria Cristina Fossi


    Full Text Available Impacts of debris on marine fauna occur throughout the marine ecosystems, with adverse impacts documented on over 1,400 species; impacts can be divided into those arising from entanglement, and those from ingestion. Ingestion of, and entanglement in, debris has been documented in over 60% of all cetacean species. Seabirds are also impacted by debris predominately through entanglement and ingestion, with the number of species negatively impacted increasing from 138 to 174 over the past two decades. In the marine environment, cetaceans and seabirds are widely regarded as reliable sentinels due to their position near the top of the marine food web, conspicuous nature, and reliance on marine resources; for this reason, this paper is focused on seabirds and cetaceans as sentinels of ocean change. In particular, two case studies are considered in relation to different levels of environmental anthropogenic impact: the cetaceans of the Mediterranean Sea and seabirds of eastern Australia. Here we describe two recent studies used to diagnose the toxicological stress related to debris-associated pressures in cetaceans and seabirds. These studies highlight the diversity and scale of impacts being felt by marine species and the role these organisms can play in our society as charismatic sentinels of ocean health. Seabirds and marine mammals are exposed, in these key areas, to a variety of adversities that potentially decrease their survival or reproductive success. These include weather, food shortages, predators, competitors, parasites, disease, and human-induced effects and plastic pollution. Each factor affects seabirds and marine mammals in a different way, but more importantly, factors can also interact and create impacts far greater than any one factor alone. The Australian and Mediterranean case studies presented here emphasize the need to consider multiple sources of mortality when developing management plans for the conservation of vulnerable species.

  14. Heart rate variability reveals that a decrease in parasympathetic ('rest-and-digest') activity dominates autonomic stress responses in a free-living seabird.

    Müller, Martina S; Vyssotski, Alexei L; Yamamoto, Maki; Yoda, Ken


    The autonomic stress response, often referred to as the 'fight-or-flight' response, is a highly conserved physiological reaction to stress in vertebrates that occurs via a decrease in parasympathetic (PNS) activity, which promotes self-maintenance 'rest and digest' processes, and an increase in sympathetic (SNS) activity, which prepares an animal for danger ('fight-or-flight'). Though the PNS and SNS both innervate most organs, they often control different tissues and functions within those organs (though the pacemaker of the heart is controlled by both). Moreover the PNS and SNS are regulated independently. Yet until now, most studies of autonomic stress responses in non-model species focused only on the SNS response. We used external electrocardiogram loggers to measure heart rate and heart rate variability indexes that reflect PNS and SNS activity in a seabird, the Streaked Shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas), during the stress of handling, and during recovery in the nest burrow or during restraint in a cloth bag. We show for the first time in a free-living animal that the autonomic stress response is mediated primarily by a rapid decrease in PNS activity: handling stress induced a large and long-lasting depression of PNS 'rest-and-digest' activity that required two hours to recover. We also found evidence for a substantially smaller and shorter-lasting SNS 'fight-or-flight' response. Confinement in a cloth bag was less stressful for birds than handling, but more stressful than recovering in nest burrows. We show that quantifying autonomic activity from heart rate variability is effective for non-invasively studying stress physiology in free-living animals. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  15. Sex and migratory strategy influence corticosterone levels in winter-grown feathers, with positive breeding effects in a migratory pelagic seabird.

    Pérez, Cristóbal; Granadeiro, José Pedro; Dias, Maria P; Catry, Paulo


    To overcome unpredictable stressful transitory events, animals trigger an allostatic response involving the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal cortex. This hormonal response, which involves the release of glucocorticoids which in turn mediate between the main physiological mechanisms that regulate the energetic demands and resource allocation trade-off with behavioural responses to environmental perturbations and may ultimately lead to variation in fitness. We have used the Cory's shearwater Calonectris borealis, a sexually dimorphic pelagic seabird with a partial migratory strategy, as a model bird species to analyse a number of traits related to the stress response. We investigated whether the activation of a stressful response, mediated by corticosterone, during the wintering period (1) correlated with the previous breeding success, (2) was affected by the migratory behaviour of male birds and (3) had consequences in the fitness of the birds. Corticosterone levels in feathers grown overwinter were analysed in 61 adult birds during three consecutive migratory periods (2009-2012) and in 14 immature birds in the wintering period 2010-2011. Moreover, the levels of corticosterone were analysed in experimental birds which were freed from their reproductive duties and compared with control birds which raised fledglings to the end of the breeding period. The results show that the levels of corticosterone were sex dependent, differed between years and were affected by the migratory strategy performed by the birds. The activation of the stressful response over the wintering period generated residual carry-over effects that positively affected the reproductive output in the subsequent breeding stage, a phenomenon previously undescribed in a long-lived pelagic seabird. Our study provides evidence that the analysis of corticosterone from feathers is a useful tool to evaluate carry-over effects in birds far away from breeding sites, opening new possibilities for future studies in

  16. 3 CFR 8336 - Proclamation 8336 of January 6, 2009. Establishment of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National...


    ... Napoleon wrasse (Chelinus), sharks of several species, and large schools of the Bumphead parrotfish.... All three islands afford unique opportunities to conduct climate change research at the equator, far... international significance: Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, Christmas Shearwaters, Red-tailed Tropicbirds, Brown...

  17. Vertical distribution and migration of euphausiid species in the Red Sea

    Wiebe, Peter H.; Bucklin, Ann; Kaartvedt, Stein; Rø stad, Anders; Blanco-Bercial, Leocadio


    We addressed how the extreme environmental conditions of the Red Sea impact or alter patterns of vertical distribution and vertical migration of five euphausiid species that are known from other oceans. Euphausia diomedeae was abundant and performed


    Island Press/Shearwater Books. Washington ... the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard ... energy depletion, economic collapse, limited ... Books like this one should be made compulsory read- ing, instead of, not in addition to, one of the.

  19. Modeled prevalance of seabirds and relative abundance of cetaceans in NW Atlantic (limit-40 W) from 1980-04-01 to 1988-10-01 (NCEI Accession 0130025)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set is a compilation of modeled seabird prevalence predictions for a selection of species including Razorbill (Alca torda), Greater Shearwater (Puffinus...

  20. 45 CFR 670.20 - Designation of native birds.


    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Designation of native birds. 670.20 Section 670.20... CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.20 Designation of native birds. The following are designated native birds: Albatross Black-browed—Diomedea...

  1. 77 FR 75601 - Boundary Expansion of Cordell Bank and Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuaries; Intent...


    ... shearwaters that travel tens of thousands of miles. Food that results from the Point Arena upwelling center... 13, 2013 at the Point Arena High School. ADDRESSES: You may submit comments on this document... area encompasses the Point Arena upwelling center that consistently produces the most intense upwelling...

  2. Foraging effort in relation to the constraints of reproduction in free-ranging albatrosses

    Shaffer, Scott A; Costa, D P; Weimerskirch, H


    1. Theoretical models predict that animals will vary their effort to maximize different currencies such as time and energy when the constraints of reproduction change during breeding, but this has been poorly studied in free-ranging animals. 2. Foraging effort (energy per unit time) was examined by comparing mass changes, foraging costs and activity-specific behaviours of Wandering Albatrosses (Diomedea exulans Linnaeus) during the incubation and chick-brooding stages. In 1998, 38 albatrosses...

  3. Prevalence of marine debris in marine birds from the North Atlantic.

    Provencher, Jennifer F; Bond, Alexander L; Hedd, April; Montevecchi, William A; Muzaffar, Sabir Bin; Courchesne, Sarah J; Gilchrist, H Grant; Jamieson, Sarah E; Merkel, Flemming R; Falk, Knud; Durinck, Jan; Mallory, Mark L


    Marine birds have been found to ingest plastic debris in many of the world's oceans. Plastic accumulation data from necropsies findings and regurgitation studies are presented on 13 species of marine birds in the North Atlantic, from Georgia, USA to Nunavut, Canada and east to southwest Greenland and the Norwegian Sea. Of the species examined, the two surface plungers (great shearwaters Puffinus gravis; northern fulmars Fulmarus glacialis) had the highest prevalence of ingested plastic (71% and 51%, respectively). Great shearwaters also had the most pieces of plastics in their stomachs, with some individuals containing as many of 36 items. Seven species contained no evidence of plastic debris. Reporting of baseline data as done here is needed to ensure that data are available for marine birds over time and space scales in which we see changes in historical debris patterns in marine environments (i.e. decades) and among oceanographic regions. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Evaluation of the effectiveness of light streamer tori-lines and characteristics of bait attacks by seabirds in the western North Pacific.

    Noriyosi Sato

    Full Text Available To improve the effectiveness of tori-lines it is necessary to evaluate the ability of tori-lines to mitigate seabird bycatch and determine what kind of seabird species gather during line settings, attack the bait and are incidentally caught. We conducted two experiments in the western North Pacific and examined the effectiveness for seabird mitigation of light streamer tori-lines which have no long streamers but many light (short streamers and are mainly used in the North Pacific area. Firstly, the effectiveness of two different types of tori-line (light streamer (1 m and long streamer (up to 7 m tori-line and of two different colors (yellow and red of light streamers for seabird bycatch avoidance was evaluated using 567 sets based on data from 20 offshore surface commercial longliners. No significant difference in the bycatch number between the different tori-line types and streamer colors was found. Secondly, we investigated the characteristics of the seabird bycatch in the North Pacific and the effectiveness of three different types of streamers (light, hybrid and modified light types by detailed observations of seabird attacks using a chartered longline vessel. Although the appearance rate of albatrosses and shearwaters were 40.9% and 27.7%, Laysan albatross was the main seabird species that followed the vessel but shearwaters seldom followed the vessel and did not aggregate during line setting. In all attacks on bait observed during line settings, 81% and 7% were by albatrosses and shearwaters, respectively. In the number of primary attacks by Laysan albatrosses which attacked most aggressively of all seabirds, there were no significant differences among the tori-line types. No individuals of shearwater were caught. The results of both experiments indicated that light streamer tori-lines were as effective as tori-lines with long streamers for mitigating seabird bycatch in the North Pacific.

  5. Distribution of marine birds on the mid- and North-Atlantic US outer continental shelf. Technical progress report, January 1978-July 1980

    Powers, K.D.; Pittman, G.L.; Fitch, S.J.


    The species composition, distribution, and abundance of marine birds on continental shelf waters from Cape Hatteras to the Bay of Fundy were examined using ships-of-opportunity. Northern Fulmar, Cory's Shearwater, Greater Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Gannet, Red Phalarope, Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, and Black-legged Kittiwake were the most abundant and common species. These species were ecologically dominant within the bird community in numbers and biomass. Georges Bank and Gulf of Marine regions generally had greatest estimates of standing stock and biomass; whereas, in the Middle Atlantic region these estimates were consistently lowest. Species diversity throughout the study area was greatest in spring and least in fall. Oceanic fronts at the continental shelf break and at Nantucket Shoals influenced the distribution of Wilson's Storm-Petrels and Red Phalaropes. Fishing activities were particularly important to Larus gull distribution. Fishes, squids, and crustaceans were the most important groups of prey items in diets of nine bird species. An oiled bird or pollution index was developed. According to the index, frequency of oiled birds was greatest in winter and spring, and gulls made up the majority of species with oiled plumages.

  6. Seabirds indicate changes in the composition of plastic litter in the Atlantic and south-western Indian Oceans.

    Ryan, Peter G


    I compare plastic ingested by five species of seabirds sampled in the 1980s and again in 1999-2006. The numbers of ingested plastic particles have not changed significantly, but the proportion of virgin pellets has decreased 44-79% in all five species: great shearwater Puffinus gravis, white-chinned petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis, broad-billed prion Pachyptila vittata, white-faced storm petrel Pelagodroma marina and white-bellied storm petrel Fregetta grallaria. The populations sampled range widely in the South Atlantic and western Indian Oceans. The most marked reduction occurred in great shearwaters, where the average number of pellets per bird decreased from 10.5 to 1.6. This species migrates between the South and North Atlantic each year. Similar decreases in virgin pellets have been recorded in short-tailed shearwaters Puffinus tenuirostris in the Pacific Ocean and northern fulmars Fulmarus glacialis in the North Sea. More data are needed on the relationship between plastic loads in seabirds and the density of plastic at sea in their foraging areas, but the consistent decrease in pellets in birds suggests there has been a global change in the composition of small plastic debris at sea over the last two decades.

  7. I. Structural studies of termite defense secretions. II. Structural studies of natural products of marine nudibranchs. [Kempene, tridachione

    Solheim, B.A.


    Three families of termites have the ability to produce a sticky secretion that envelopes and immobilizes the enemy. In the family Termitidae the secretion contains the diterpenoid hydrocarbons, kempene I and kempene II. The molecular structure of kempene II from the termite, Nasutitermes kempae, is described in detail. Another species of termite, Cubitermes umbratus, contained the diterpenoid hydrocarbon biflora-4,10-19,15-triene in the secretion and this compound is described. Studies were also conducted on the mucous secretion of the pedal gland of the marine nudibranch, Tidachiella diomedea. Tridachione, a substituted ..gamma..-pyrone, was isolated in the pure state and its molecular structure is described in detail. (HLW)

  8. Estimating Regions of Oceanographic Importance for Seabirds Using A-Spatial Data.

    Grant Richard Woodrow Humphries

    Full Text Available Advances in GPS tracking technologies have allowed for rapid assessment of important oceanographic regions for seabirds. This allows us to understand seabird distributions, and the characteristics which determine the success of populations. In many cases, quality GPS tracking data may not be available; however, long term population monitoring data may exist. In this study, a method to infer important oceanographic regions for seabirds will be presented using breeding sooty shearwaters as a case study. This method combines a popular machine learning algorithm (generalized boosted regression modeling, geographic information systems, long-term ecological data and open access oceanographic datasets. Time series of chick size and harvest index data derived from a long term dataset of Maori 'muttonbirder' diaries were obtained and used as response variables in a gridded spatial model. It was found that areas of the sub-Antarctic water region best capture the variation in the chick size data. Oceanographic features including wind speed and charnock (a derived variable representing ocean surface roughness came out as top predictor variables in these models. Previously collected GPS data demonstrates that these regions are used as "flyways" by sooty shearwaters during the breeding season. It is therefore likely that wind speeds in these flyways affect the ability of sooty shearwaters to provision for their chicks due to changes in flight dynamics. This approach was designed to utilize machine learning methodology but can also be implemented with other statistical algorithms. Furthermore, these methods can be applied to any long term time series of population data to identify important regions for a species of interest.

  9. Accumulation of plastic-derived chemicals in tissues of seabirds ingesting marine plastics.

    Tanaka, Kosuke; Takada, Hideshige; Yamashita, Rei; Mizukawa, Kaoruko; Fukuwaka, Masa-aki; Watanuki, Yutaka


    We analyzed polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in abdominal adipose of oceanic seabirds (short-tailed shearwaters, Puffinus tenuirostris) collected in northern North Pacific Ocean. In 3 of 12 birds, we detected higher-brominated congeners (viz., BDE209 and BDE183), which are not present in the natural prey (pelagic fish) of the birds. The same compounds were present in plastic found in the stomachs of the 3 birds. These data suggested the transfer of plastic-derived chemicals from ingested plastics to the tissues of marine-based organisms. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Incidence of plastic fragments among burrow-nesting seabird colonies on offshore islands in northern New Zealand.

    Buxton, Rachel T; Currey, Caitlin A; Lyver, Philip O'B; Jones, Christopher J


    Marine plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the world's oceans, and has been found in high concentrations in oceanic gyres of both the northern and southern hemispheres. The number of studies demonstrating plastic debris at seabird colonies and plastic ingestion by adult seabirds has increased over the past few decades. Despite the recent discovery of a large aggregation of plastic debris in the South Pacific subtropical gyre, the incidence of plastics at seabird colonies in New Zealand is unknown. Between 2011 and 2012 we surveyed six offshore islands on the northeast coast of New Zealand's North Island for burrow-nesting seabird colonies and the presence of plastic fragments. We found non-research related plastic fragments (0.031 pieces/m(2)) on one island only, Ohinau, within dense flesh-footed shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) colonies. On Ohinau, we found a linear relationship between burrow density and plastic density, with 3.5 times more breeding burrows in areas with plastic fragments found. From these data we conclude that plastic ingestion is a potentially a serious issue for flesh-footed shearwaters in New Zealand. Although these results do not rule out plastic ingestion by other species, they suggest the need for further research on the relationship between New Zealand's pelagic seabirds and marine plastic pollution. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Causes of mortality of albatross chicks at Midway Atoll

    Sileo, L.; Sievert, P.R.; Samuel, M.D.


    As part of an investigation of the effect of plastic ingestion on seabirds in Hawaii, we necropsied the carcasses of 137 Laysan albatross (Diomedea immutabilis) chicks from Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean during the summer of 1987. Selected tissues were collected for microbiological, parasitological, toxicological or histopathological examinations. Dehydration was the most common cause of death. Lead poisoning, trauma, emaciation (starvation) and trombidiosis were other causes of death; nonfatal nocardiosis and avian pox also were present. There was no evidence that ingested plastic caused mechanical lesions or mortality in 1987, but most of the chicks had considerably less plastic in them than chicks from earlier years. Human activity (lead poisoning and vehicular trauma) caused mortality at Midway Atoll and represented additive mortality for pre-fledgling albatrosses.

  12. A new species of Pagurus (Crustacea: Decapoda: Paguridae, new records and a redescription of hermit crabs from the Mexican Pacific

    Manuel Ayón-Parente


    Full Text Available New records are provided for three species of little-known pagurids. All the material reported was collected by the R/V “El Puma” in the central Gulf of California during the GUAYTEC II cruise. New material is reported for Iridopagurus haigae García-Gómez, 1983, Enallopagurus spinicarpus (Glassell, 1937, and Solenopagurus diomedeae (Faxon, 1893, and these two latter species are redescribed. A new species of hermit crab of the genus Pagurus Fabricius, 1775, is described and illustrated in detail. Among the eastern Pacific species of Pagurus, this new species resembles Pagurus meloi Lemaitre and Cruz Castaño, 2004, P. imarpe Haig, 1974 and P. delsolari Haig, 1974, but differs from these three species in the armature and setation of the chelipeds and second and third pereopods, the shape and armature of the telson, and the number of rows of scales on pereopodal rasp and the presence of a preungual process.

  13. Mobulid rays feed on euphausiids in the Bohol Sea.

    Rohner, Christoph A; Burgess, Katherine B; Rambahiniarison, Joshua M; Stewart, Joshua D; Ponzo, Alessandro; Richardson, Anthony J


    Mobulid rays have a conservative life history and are caught in direct fisheries and as by-catch. Their subsequent vulnerability to overexploitation has recently been recognized, but fisheries management can be ineffective if it ignores habitat and prey preferences and other trophic interactions of the target species. Here, we assessed the feeding ecology of four mobulids ( Manta birostris , Mobula tarapacana , M. japanica , M. thurstoni ) in the Bohol Sea, Philippines, using stomach contents analysis of fisheries specimens landed between November and May in 2013-2015. We show that the mobulids feed heavily on euphausiid krill while they are in the area for approximately six months of the year. We found almost no trophic separation among the mobulid species, with Euphausia diomedeae as the major prey item for all species, recorded in 81 of 89 total stomachs (91%). Mobula japanica and M. thurstoni almost exclusively had this krill in their stomach, while M. tarapacana had a squid and fish, and Ma. birostris had myctophid fishes and copepods in their stomachs in addition to E. diomedeae . This krill was larger than prey for other planktivorous elasmobranchs elsewhere and contributed a mean of 61 364 kcal per stomach (±105 032 kcal s.e., range = 0-631 167 kcal). Our results show that vertically migrating mesopelagic species can be an important food resource for large filter feeders living in tropical seas with oligotrophic surface waters. Given the conservative life history of mobulid rays, the identification of common foraging grounds that overlap with fishing activity could be used to inform future fishing effort.

  14. Cranial osteology and taxonomy of albatrosses of genus Dimedea linneaus, 1758 and Thalassarche reichenbach, 1853 (procellariformes: Diomeidae

    Francisco V. Dénes


    Full Text Available The currently accepted albatross taxonomy, based on characters of external morphology, plumage patterns, tail shape, bill size and coloration, organization of the plates of the bill, and, more recently, molecular data such as cytochrome-b gene sequences, resulted in a division of the family Diomedeidae into four genera: Diomedea, comprising the great albatrosses; Phoebastria, the North Pacific albatrosses; Thalassarche, the mollymawks; and Phoebetria, the sooty mollymawks. However, there are only a few, old studies on albatross osteology, which focused mostly on supra-generic relationships. Research on the group's taxonomy and anatomy is important in order to establish a secure basis for the identification of each species, including the differences between males, females and specimens of different ages, and also to verify anatomic characters which might be found useful for phylogenetic analysis based on morphological markers. In the present study, 63 skulls of Diomedea and Thalassarche albatrosses were analyzed and compared, thus establishing topographic correspondences and determining primary homologies, these resulting in: (a the finding of no pattern of anatomical variation related to sex and age for both T. melanophris and for T. chlororhynchos; (b the assessment of eight cranial landmarks separating the genera Diomedea and Thalassarche; (c the recognition of 13 cranial landmarks differing among T. melanophris, T. chlororhynchos and T. cauta; (d the re-identification of several specimens based on skull characters. The characters here presented for the genera and species, along with further anatomical research on the skull of the Diomedeidae, including the genera Phoebetria and Phoebastria, may help to enlighten relationships within the family.A atual taxonomia dos albatrozes consiste na divisão da família Diomedeidae em quatro gêneros: Diomedea, que inclui os grandes albatrozes; Phoebastria, formado pelos albatrozes do norte do Pac

  15. Bio-Physical Coupling of Seabirds and Prey with a Dynamic River Plume

    Phillips, E. M.; Horne, J. K.; Zamon, J. E.; Adams, J.


    Freshwater plumes and plume density fronts are important regions of bio-physical coupling. On the west coast of North America, discharge from the Columbia River into the northern California Current creates a large, dynamic plume and multiple plume fronts. These nutrient-rich, productive waters fuel primary and secondary production, supporting a wide variety of small pelagic prey fish, large populations of Pacific salmon, seabirds, and marine mammals. To determine the influence of the Columbia River plume on marine predators, we analyzed at-sea seabird counts, in situ environmental data, surface trawl densities of prey fish, and acoustic backscatter measurements collected from research vessels in May and June 2010-2012. Concurrent distribution patterns of satellite-tagged sooty shearwaters (Puffinus griseus) and common murres (Uria aalge) were compared with seabird counts from ship surveys. To evaluate plume use by satellite-tagged birds, daily surface salinity values from SELFE hindcast models were extracted at each tag location. Both seabird species occurred in plume waters disproportionate to the total surveyed area, concentrating in the river plume when river flow and plume volume decreased. Murres were consistently within 20 km of the geographic mean center of the river plume. In contrast, shearwaters consistently occurred 100 km to the north of the plume center, where high densities of prey fish occur. Although acoustically detected prey also occurred in greater densities within the plume when volume decreased, surface catches of prey in the plume did not vary with changing plume conditions. Geographic indices of colocation (GIC) were low between murres and prey species caught in surface trawls, whereas GICs were >0.5 between shearwaters and prey species including squid (Loligo opalescens), juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), and coho (O. kisutch) salmon. We conclude that the river plume and associated fronts are identifiable, predictable, and

  16. The impact of regulations on the development of oil spill recovery vessels

    Bianchi, R.A.


    Past, present, and future regulations have imposed and may continue to impose serious and unnecessary restraints on the design, construction, and operation of oil spill recovery vessels (OSRVs). OSRVs have been regulated as tankers under 46 CFR Subchapter D regulations. The application of these regulations to the design and construction of the Clean Sound Cooperative's Shearwater and the Alyeska Pipeline Service Company's Valdez Star and other vessels through the design approval and inspection processes of the American Bureau of Shipping and United States Coast Guard illustrate some of the problems. Present regulations do not encourage the development of new OSRVS. The regulations regarding OSRVs should be reevaluated. Committees of OSRV designers and users as well as regulators should evaluate comments and recommendations before incorporating them in the design of new OSRVS

  17. Seabird eggs as bioindicators of chemical contamination in Chile

    Cifuentes, Jacqueline Munoz; Becker, Peter H.; Sommer, Ute; Pacheco, Patricia; Schlatter, Roberto


    Seabird eggs are proposed as biomonitors of chemical contamination in Chile. - Seabird eggs were used as bioindicators of chemical contamination in Chile. Brown-hooded Gull (Larus maculipennis), Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus), Trudeau's Tern (Sterna trudeaui), Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), and Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) eggs were sampled at different breeding sites during the 1990s. Mercury and organochlorines (PCBs, DDT, HCB, HCH, and PCP) were quantified to reveal the interspecific differences, spatial and temporal trends in contamination levels. Trudeau's Tern displayed the highest levels of mercury (486 ng g{sup -1} wet weight). The highest {sigma}DDT concentrations were measured in Brown-hooded Gulls (726 ng g{sup -1}). PCB levels were similar among the species (102-236 ng g{sup -1}), but the composition of the PCB mixture was different in Pink-footed Shearwaters. With the exception of the Brown-hooded Gull, all species studied presented similar and low levels of organochlorines ({sigma}OHa). Residues of PCB and related compounds were not detected in any of the seabird eggs analyzed in Chile. Geographical variation was low, although levels of industrial chemicals were slightly higher in eggs from Concepcion Bay, and agricultural chemicals in eggs from Valdivia. Also interannual variation was low, but some evidence was found of decreasing levels in gull eggs throughout the time of the study. The causes of the low levels and small variability in space and time of environmental chemicals in Chilean seabirds are discussed. We propose the use of seabirds in future monitoring of the development of chemical contamination in Chile.

  18. Isotopic characterization of flight feathers in two pelagic seabirds: Sampling strategies for ecological studies

    Wiley, Anne E.; Ostrom, Peggy H.; Stricker, Craig A.; James, Helen F.; Gandhi, Hasand


    We wish to use stable-isotope analysis of flight feathers to understand the feeding behavior of pelagic seabirds, such as the Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) and Newell’s Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newelli). Analysis of remiges is particularly informative because the sequence and timing of remex molt are often known. The initial step, reported here, is to obtain accurate isotope values from whole remiges by means of a minimally invasive protocol appropriate for live birds or museum specimens. The high variability observed in D13C and D15N values within a feather precludes the use of a small section of vane. We found the average range within 42 Hawaiian Petrel remiges to be 1.3‰ for both D13C and D15N and that within 10 Newell’s Shearwater remiges to be 1.3‰ and 0.7‰ for D13C and D15N, respectively. The D13C of all 52 feathers increased from tip to base, and the majority of Hawaiian Petrel feathers showed an analogous trend in D15N. Although the average range of DD in 21 Hawaiian Petrel remiges was 11‰, we found no longitudinal trend. We discuss influences of trophic level, foraging location, metabolism, and pigmentation on isotope values and compare three methods of obtaining isotope averages of whole feathers. Our novel barb-sampling protocol requires only 1.0 mg of feather and minimal preparation time. Because it leaves the feather nearly intact, this protocol will likely facilitate obtaining isotope values from remiges of live birds and museum specimens. As a consequence, it will help expand the understanding of historical trends in foraging behavior

  19. Seabird eggs as bioindicators of chemical contamination in Chile

    Cifuentes, Jacqueline Munoz; Becker, Peter H.; Sommer, Ute; Pacheco, Patricia; Schlatter, Roberto


    Seabird eggs are proposed as biomonitors of chemical contamination in Chile. - Seabird eggs were used as bioindicators of chemical contamination in Chile. Brown-hooded Gull (Larus maculipennis), Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus), Trudeau's Tern (Sterna trudeaui), Neotropic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax brasilianus), and Pink-footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus) eggs were sampled at different breeding sites during the 1990s. Mercury and organochlorines (PCBs, DDT, HCB, HCH, and PCP) were quantified to reveal the interspecific differences, spatial and temporal trends in contamination levels. Trudeau's Tern displayed the highest levels of mercury (486 ng g -1 wet weight). The highest ΣDDT concentrations were measured in Brown-hooded Gulls (726 ng g -1 ). PCB levels were similar among the species (102-236 ng g -1 ), but the composition of the PCB mixture was different in Pink-footed Shearwaters. With the exception of the Brown-hooded Gull, all species studied presented similar and low levels of organochlorines (ΣOHa). Residues of PCB and related compounds were not detected in any of the seabird eggs analyzed in Chile. Geographical variation was low, although levels of industrial chemicals were slightly higher in eggs from Concepcion Bay, and agricultural chemicals in eggs from Valdivia. Also interannual variation was low, but some evidence was found of decreasing levels in gull eggs throughout the time of the study. The causes of the low levels and small variability in space and time of environmental chemicals in Chilean seabirds are discussed. We propose the use of seabirds in future monitoring of the development of chemical contamination in Chile

  20. Hypoxia Tolerance and Metabolic Suppression in Oxygen Minimum Zone Euphausiids: Implications for Ocean Deoxygenation and Biogeochemical Cycles

    Seibel, Brad A.


    The effects of regional variations in oxygen and temperature levels with depth were assessed for the metabolism and hypoxia tolerance of dominant euphausiid species. The physiological strategies employed by these species facilitate prediction of changing vertical distributions with expanding oxygen minimum zones and inform estimates of the contribution of vertically migrating species to biogeochemical cycles. The migrating species from the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP), Euphausia eximia and Nematoscelis gracilis, tolerate a Partial Pressure (PO2) of 0.8 kPa at 10 °C (∼15 µM O2) for at least 12 h without mortality, while the California Current species, Nematoscelis difficilis, is incapable of surviving even 2.4 kPa PO2 (∼32 µM O2) for more than 3 h at that temperature. Euphausia diomedeae from the Red Sea migrates into an intermediate oxygen minimum zone, but one in which the temperature at depth remains near 22 °C. Euphausia diomedeae survived 1.6 kPa PO2 (∼22 µM O2) at 22 °C for the duration of six hour respiration experiments. Critical oxygen partial pressures were estimated for each species, and, for E. eximia, measured via oxygen consumption (2.1 kPa, 10 °C, n = 2) and lactate accumulation (1.1 kPa, 10 °C). A primary mechanism facilitating low oxygen tolerance is an ability to dramatically reduce energy expenditure during daytime forays into low oxygen waters. The ETP and Red Sea species reduced aerobic metabolism by more than 50% during exposure to hypoxia. Anaerobic glycolytic energy production, as indicated by whole-animal lactate accumulation, contributed only modestly to the energy deficit. Thus, the total metabolic rate was suppressed by ∼49–64%. Metabolic suppression during diel migrations to depth reduces the metabolic contribution of these species to vertical carbon and nitrogen flux (i.e., the biological pump) by an equivalent amount. Growing evidence suggests that metabolic suppression is a widespread strategy among migrating

  1. Toward the quantification of a conceptual framework for movement ecology using circular statistical modeling.

    Shimatani, Ichiro Ken; Yoda, Ken; Katsumata, Nobuhiro; Sato, Katsufumi


    To analyze an animal's movement trajectory, a basic model is required that satisfies the following conditions: the model must have an ecological basis and the parameters used in the model must have ecological interpretations, a broad range of movement patterns can be explained by that model, and equations and probability distributions in the model should be mathematically tractable. Random walk models used in previous studies do not necessarily satisfy these requirements, partly because movement trajectories are often more oriented or tortuous than expected from the models. By improving the modeling for turning angles, this study aims to propose a basic movement model. On the basis of the recently developed circular auto-regressive model, we introduced a new movement model and extended its applicability to capture the asymmetric effects of external factors such as wind. The model was applied to GPS trajectories of a seabird (Calonectris leucomelas) to demonstrate its applicability to various movement patterns and to explain how the model parameters are ecologically interpreted under a general conceptual framework for movement ecology. Although it is based on a simple extension of a generalized linear model to circular variables, the proposed model enables us to evaluate the effects of external factors on movement separately from the animal's internal state. For example, maximum likelihood estimates and model selection suggested that in one homing flight section, the seabird intended to fly toward the island, but misjudged its navigation and was driven off-course by strong winds, while in the subsequent flight section, the seabird reset the focal direction, navigated the flight under strong wind conditions, and succeeded in approaching the island.

  2. Age-related variation in foraging behaviour in the wandering albatross at South Georgia: no evidence for senescence.

    Hannah Froy

    Full Text Available Age-related variation in demographic rates is now widely documented in wild vertebrate systems, and has significant consequences for population and evolutionary dynamics. However, the mechanisms underpinning such variation, particularly in later life, are less well understood. Foraging efficiency is a key determinant of fitness, with implications for individual life history trade-offs. A variety of faculties known to decline in old age, such as muscular function and visual acuity, are likely to influence foraging performance. We examine age-related variation in the foraging behaviour of a long-lived, wide-ranging oceanic seabird, the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans. Using miniaturised tracking technologies, we compared foraging trip characteristics of birds breeding at Bird Island, South Georgia. Based on movement and immersion data collected during the incubation phase of a single breeding season, and from extensive tracking data collected in previous years from different stages of the breeding cycle, we found limited evidence for age-related variation in commonly reported trip parameters, and failed to detect signs of senescent decline. Our results contrast with the limited number of past studies that have examined foraging behaviour in later life, since these have documented changes in performance consistent with senescence. This highlights the importance of studies across different wild animal populations to gain a broader perspective on the processes driving variation in ageing rates.

  3. NeuronBank: a tool for cataloging neuronal circuitry

    Paul S Katz


    Full Text Available The basic unit of any nervous system is the neuron. Therefore, understanding the operation of nervous systems ultimately requires an inventory of their constituent neurons and synaptic connectivity, which form neural circuits. The presence of uniquely identifiable neurons or classes of neurons in many invertebrates has facilitated the construction of cellular-level connectivity diagrams that can be generalized across individuals within a species. Homologous neurons can also be recognized across species. Here we describe, a web-based tool that we are developing for cataloging, searching, and analyzing neuronal circuitry within and across species. Information from a single species is represented in an individual branch of NeuronBank. Users can search within a branch or perform queries across branches to look for similarities in neuronal circuits across species. The branches allow for an extensible ontology so that additional characteristics can be added as knowledge grows. Each entry in NeuronBank generates a unique accession ID, allowing it to be easily cited. There is also an automatic link to a Wiki page allowing an encyclopedic explanation of the entry. All of the 44 previously published neurons plus one previously unpublished neuron from the mollusc, Tritonia diomedea, have been entered into a branch of NeuronBank as have 4 previously published neurons from the mollusc, Melibe leonina. The ability to organize information about neuronal circuits will make this information more accessible, ultimately aiding research on these important models.

  4. Eye structure and amphibious foraging in albatrosses

    Martin, G. R.


    Anterior eye structure and retinal visual fields were determined in grey-headed and black-browed albatrosses, Diomedea melanophris and D. chrysostoma (Procellariiformes, Diomedeidae), using keratometry and an ophthalmoscopic reflex technique. Results for the two species were very similar and indicate that the eyes are of an amphibious optical design suggesting that albatross vision is well suited to the visual pursuit of active prey both on and below the ocean surface. The corneas are relatively flat (radius ca. 14.5 mm) and hence of low absolute refractive power (ca. 23 dioptres). In air the binocular fields are relatively long (vertical extent ca. 70 degrees) and narrow (maximum width in the plane of the optic axes 26–32 degrees), a topography found in a range of bird species that employ visual guidance of bill position when foraging. The cyclopean fields measure approximately 270 degrees in the horizontal plane, but there is a 60 degrees blind sector above the head owing to the positioning of the eyes below the protruding supraorbital ridges. Upon immersion the monocular fields decrease in width such that the binocular fields are abolished. Anterior eye structure, and visual field topography in both air and water, show marked similarity with those of the Humboldt penguin.

  5. A ternary logic model for recurrent neuromime networks with delay.

    Hangartner, R D; Cull, P


    In contrast to popular recurrent artificial neural network (RANN) models, biological neural networks have unsymmetric structures and incorporate significant delays as a result of axonal propagation. Consequently, biologically inspired neural network models are more accurately described by nonlinear differential-delay equations rather than nonlinear ordinary differential equations (ODEs), and the standard techniques for studying the dynamics of RANNs are wholly inadequate for these models. This paper develops a ternary-logic based method for analyzing these networks. Key to the technique is the realization that a nonzero delay produces a bounded stability region. This result significantly simplifies the construction of sufficient conditions for characterizing the network equilibria. If the network gain is large enough, each equilibrium can be classified as either asymptotically stable or unstable. To illustrate the analysis technique, the swim central pattern generator (CPG) of the sea slug Tritonia diomedea is examined. For wide range of reasonable parameter values, the ternary analysis shows that none of the network equilibria are stable, and thus the network must oscillate. The results show that complex synaptic dynamics are not necessary for pattern generation.

  6. Removal of spike frequency adaptation via neuromodulation intrinsic to the Tritonia escape swim central pattern generator.

    Katz, P S; Frost, W N


    For the mollusc Tritonia diomedea to generate its escape swim motor pattern, interneuron C2, a crucial member of the central pattern generator (CPG) for this rhythmic behavior, must fire repetitive bursts of action potentials. Yet, before swimming, repeated depolarizing current pulses injected into C2 at periods similar those in the swim motor program are incapable of mimicking the firing rate attained by C2 on each cycle of a swim motor program. This resting level of C2 inexcitability is attributable to its own inherent spike frequency adaptation (SFA). Clearly, this property must be altered for the swim behavior to occur. The pathway for initiation of the swimming behavior involves activation of the serotonergic dorsal swim interneurons (DSIs), which are also intrinsic members of the swim CPG. Physiologically appropriate DSI stimulation transiently decreases C2 SFA, allowing C2 to fire at higher rates even when repeatedly depolarized at short intervals. The increased C2 excitability caused by DSI stimulation is mimicked and occluded by serotonin application. Furthermore, the change in excitability is not caused by the depolarization associated with DSI stimulation or serotonin application but is correlated with a decrease in C2 spike afterhyperpolarization. This suggests that the DSIs use serotonin to evoke a neuromodulatory action on a conductance in C2 that regulates its firing rate. This modulatory action of one CPG neuron on another is likely to play a role in configuring the swim circuit into its rhythmic pattern-generating mode and maintaining it in that state.

  7. Neuromodulation intrinsic to the central pattern generator for escape swimming in Tritonia.

    Katz, P S


    Extrinsic neuromodulatory inputs to central pattern generators (CPGs) can alter the properties and synaptic interactions of neurons in those circuits and thereby modify the output of the CPG. Recent work in a number of systems has now demonstrated that neurons intrinsic to CPG can also evoke neuromodulatory actions on other members of the CPG. Such "intrinsic neuromodulation" plays a role in controlling the CPG underlying the escape swim response of the nudibrach mollusc, Tritonia diomedea. The dorsal swim interneurons (DSIs) are a bilaterally represented set of three serotonergic neurons that participate in the generation of the rhythmic swim motor program. Serotonin released from these CPG neurons functions both as a fast neurotransmitter and as a slower neuromodulator. In its modulatory role, serotonin enhances the release of neurotransmitter from another CPG neuron, C2, and also increases C2 excitability by decreasing spike frequency adaptation. These neuromodulatory actions intrinsic to the CPG may be important for the initial self-configuration of the system into a function CPG and for experience-dependent changes in the output such as behavioral sensitization and habituation.

  8. Vertical distribution and migration of euphausiid species in the Red Sea

    Wiebe, Peter H.


    We addressed how the extreme environmental conditions of the Red Sea impact or alter patterns of vertical distribution and vertical migration of five euphausiid species that are known from other oceans. Euphausia diomedeae was abundant and performed diel vertical migration (DVM) from >200 m in daytime to <100 m at night, similar to its pattern in other ocean regions. Euphausia sibogae and Euphausia sanzoi also showed consistent patterns of DVM across their ranges in the Red Sea and elsewhere. Two species, Stylocheiron affine and Stylocheiron abbreviatum, did not exhibit DVM. DNA barcode sequences for mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) were used to confirm species identifications for four species (no previous barcode data exist for E. sanzoi). COI sequence differences averaged 2.8% (SD 3.1%) within species and 16.6% (SD 0.7%) between species, similar to previous studies of euphausiids. Red Sea specimens of S. affine matched morphological descriptions of a western equatorial form and differed 14% from Atlantic and Pacific specimens, suggesting possible cryptic species-level variation within this taxon. Widely distributed species of zooplankton may exhibit broad tolerance ranges for key environmental variables, and have considerable potential to adapt to variable and changing conditions across their geographic range.

  9. Evidence for sex-segregated ocean distributions of first-winter wandering albatrosses at Crozet islands.

    Susanne Åkesson

    Full Text Available The highly mobile wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans are adapted to navigate the extreme environment of the Southern Ocean and return to isolated islands to breed. Each year they cover several hundreds of thousands of kilometers during travels across the sea. Little is known about the dispersal flights and migration of young albatrosses. We tracked, by satellite telemetry, the departure dispersal of 13 juvenile wandering albatrosses from the Crozet Islands and compared them with tracks of 7 unrelated adults during the interbreeding season. We used the satellite tracks to identify different behavioural steps of the inherited migration program used by juvenile wandering albatrosses during their first solo-migration. Our results show that the juvenile wandering albatrosses from Crozet Islands moved to sex-specific foraging zones of the ocean using at departures selectively the wind. The results suggest that the inherited migration program used by the juvenile wandering albatrosses encode several distinct steps, based on inherited preferred departure routes, differences in migration distance between sexes, and selective use of winds. During long transportation flights the albatrosses were influenced by winds and both adult and juveniles followed approximate loxodrome (rhumbline routes coinciding with the foraging zone and the specific latitudes of their destination areas. During the long segments of transportation flights across open seas the juveniles selected routes at more northerly latitudes than adults.

  10. Human exploitation assisting a threatened species? The case of muttonbirders and Buller's albatross.

    Susan M Waugh

    Full Text Available Albatrosses are flexible and adaptable predators, relying on live prey as well as carrion. Use of predictable food sources and reliance on human-produced resources are well-known trait in long-range feeders like albatrosses and petrels. Breeding Buller's albatrosses studied at Solander I. (Hautere, New Zealand fed their chicks the remains of sooty shearwater juveniles (tītī in Māori, which are harvested from nearby muttonbirding sites. Evidence of this food type was found at over 10% of nests examined, and 17-40% birds that were fitted with GPS loggers visited muttonbirding sites in this and previous studies. Muttonbirding is a traditional practice that has continued for centuries, with up to 120 tonnes of offal discharged to the sea annually during the present day harvest. It coincides with the energetically-demanding early chick period for the albatrosses. Our finding suggests that the offal may be an important, but overlooked element in the albatross diet. As an important supplementary food for the albatrosses it is likely to have contributed to the 3% per annum growth of their populations since the first comprehensive population surveys in 1969.

  11. The distribution of seabirds and fish in relation to ocean currents in the southeastern Chukchi Sea

    Piatt, John F.; Wells, John L.; MacCharles, Andrea; Fadely, Brian S.; Montevecchi, W.A.; Gaston, A.J.


    In late August 1988, we studied the distribution of seabirds in the southeastern Chukchi Sea, particularly in waters near a major seabird colony at Cape Thompson. Foraging areas were characterized using hydrographic data obtained from hydroacoustic surveys for fish. Murres (Uria spp.) and Black-legged Kitttiwakes Rissa tridactyla breeding at Cape Thompson fed mostly on Arctic cod, which are known from previous studies to be the most abundant pelagic fish in the region. Our hydroacoustic surveys revealed that pelagic fish were distributed widely, but densities were estimated to be low (e.g., 0.1-10 g∙m-3) throughout the study area and a few schools were recorded. Large feeding flocks of murres and kittiwakes were observed over fish schools with densities estimated to exceed 15 g∙m-3. Fish densities were higher in shallow Alaska Coastal Current waters than offshore in Bering Sea waters, and most piscivorous seabirds foraged in coastal waters. Poor kittiwake breeding success and a low frequency of fish in murre and kittiwake stomachs in late August suggested that fish densities were marginal for sustaining breeding seabirds at that time. Planktivorous Least Auklets Aethia pusilla and Parakeet Auklets Cyclorrhynchus psittacula foraged almost exclusively in Bering Sea waters. Short-tailed Shearwaters Puffinus tenuirostris and Tufted Puffins Fratercula cirrhata foraged in transitional waters at the front between Coastal and Bering Sea currents.

  12. Does by-catch pose a threat for the conservation of seabird populations in the southern Ionian Sea (eastern Mediterranean? A questionnaire based survey of local fisheries



    Full Text Available A significant number of studies worldwide have shown that incidental catches (by-catch of seabirds in fishing gear might pose a considerable risk for the conservation of their populations. Nevertheless reliable data on by-catch rates of seabirds in European marine ecosystems are patchy and need to be improved. This study constitutes a first attempt at the evaluation of by-catch rates in the southern Ionian Sea. Data were obtained by distributing a specific questionnaire to the fishers of Zakynthos Island. 150 professional fishers (representing 90% of the local fishing fleet participated in the research, and were interviewed during July-December 2010. The information collected showed that commercial longline and (to a lesser extent gillnet fishery gears caused incidental catches mostly of Scopoli’s Shearwater and Mediterranean Shag. The temporal analysis of the incidental bird mortality showed that seabirds were more susceptible to be trapped in fishery gears set around sunrise during spring and summer whereas spatial analysis of by-catch data indicated variations in the number of seabirds caught in different fishery areas.

  13. Status and distribution of migrating and breeding marine birds in north Lebanon

    Jarade, Gh.R.


    The study of marine birds in the northern part of Lebanon recorded 2681 individuals, distributed over 86 species. Among them 35 are foreshore species, 18 coastal, 6 maritime, 9 ducks, 6 herons, 9 various saltwater related species and 3 terrestrial. The highest density is shown by the yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis and common blackheaded gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus. The globally vulnerable yelkouan shearwater Puffinus yelkouan, an endemic species to the Mediterranean, appears on the 9th rank in the classification of seabird species from the more to the least abundant, highlighting as such, beside other 6 globally near threatened species, the role that Lebanon can play in improving the conservation status of these species. Regarding the phenological status of species, 48 are passage migrant/winter visitors, 31 passage migrants, 5 winter visitors and 2 vagrant species. The surveys revealed that three coastal seabird species (Armenian gull Larus armenicus, slender-billed gull Chroicocephalus genei and sandwich tern Thalasseus sandvicensis) and one ubiquist species (Eurasian Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria) are not rare as it was believed in previous papers but fairly common winter visitors. The study identified the yellow-legged gull breeding population to be 160 couples, and confirmed the second and third breeding records of the little ringed plover Charadrius dubius.(author)

  14. Development of oilfield facilities on a nature reserve

    Long, P.J.; Long, V.L.


    This paper reports on Airlie Island which is a small (26 hectare) sand cay, located 35km north of Onslow in Western Australia. In common with other islands in the region, Airlie is a nesting site for seabirds and turtles, but its two primary conservation resources are the large Wedge-tailed Shearwater rookery which covers 64% of the island and an endemic skink species. Its conservation values have prompted the Western Australian State Government to declare the entire island a nature reserve set apart for the preservation of flora and fauna. In 1987 Western Mining Corporation Pty Ltd. developed the South Pepper and North herald oilfields and part of this development included the siting of an oil terminal on Airlie Island. It may be expected that the conservation resources of the island and the Company's requirements for land would be incompatible. However, a careful study of the local environment and the creation of a detailed plan to manage this environment resulted in an acceptable compromise

  15. Interspecies and spatial trends in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Atlantic and Mediterranean pelagic seabirds

    Roscales, Jose L.; Gonzalez-Solis, Jacob; Calabuig, Pascual; Jimenez, Begona


    PAHs were analyzed in the liver of 5 species of pelagic seabirds (Procellariiformes) from the northeast Atlantic and the Mediterranean. The main objective was to assess the trophic and geographic trends of PAHs in seabirds to evaluate their suitability as bioindicators of chronic marine pollution by these compounds. Although higher levels of PAHs have been described in the Mediterranean compared to other oceanic regions, we did not find significant spatial patterns and observed only minor effects of the geographic origin on seabird PAHs. However, we found significant higher PAH levels in petrel compared to shearwater species, which could be related to differences in their exploitation of mesopelagic and epipelagic resources, respectively, and the vertical dynamic of PAHs in the water column. Overall, although this study enhances the need of multi-species approaches to show a more comprehensive evaluation of marine pollution, seabirds emerged as poor indicators of pelagic chronic PAH levels. - Highlights: → PAHs in pelagic seabirds show specific inter-species patterns related to trophic ecology. → Geographic origin shows a minor effect over PAH levels in pelagic seabirds. → Pelagic seabirds seem to be poor indicators of chronic PAH levels. - PAH levels in Atlantic and Mediterranean pelagic seabirds show specific inter-species patterns related to trophic ecology but a minor influence of their geographic origin.

  16. Positive Interactions among Foraging Seabirds, Marine Mammals and Fishes and Implications for Their Conservation

    Richard R. Veit


    Full Text Available There is increasing recognition of the importance of “positive interactions” among species in structuring communities. For seabirds, an important kind of positive interaction is the use of birds of the same species, birds of other species, and other marine predators such as cetaceans, seals and fishes as cues to the presence of prey. The process by which a single bird uses, say, a feeding flock of birds as a cue to the presence of prey is called “local enhancement” or “facilitation.” There are subtly different uses of each of these terms, but the issue we address here is the ubiquity of positive interactions between seabirds and other marine predators when foraging at sea, and whether as a result of their associations the feeding success, and therefore presumably the fitness, of individual seabirds is increased. If this contention is true, then it implies that conservation of any one species of seabird must take into consideration the status and possible conservation of those species that the focal species uses as a cue while foraging. For example, conservation of great shearwaters (Ardenna gravis, which often feed over tuna (e.g., Thunnus schools, should take in to consideration conservation of tuna. Ecosystem management depends on understanding the importance of such processes; the loss of biodiversity, and the consequent threat to foraging success, may be a substantial threat to the stability of marine ecosystems.

  17. Transport and release of chemicals from plastics to the environment and to wildlife

    Teuten, Emma L.; Saquing, Jovita M.; Knappe, Detlef R. U.; Barlaz, Morton A.; Jonsson, Susanne; Björn, Annika; Rowland, Steven J.; Thompson, Richard C.; Galloway, Tamara S.; Yamashita, Rei; Ochi, Daisuke; Watanuki, Yutaka; Moore, Charles; Viet, Pham Hung; Tana, Touch Seang; Prudente, Maricar; Boonyatumanond, Ruchaya; Zakaria, Mohamad P.; Akkhavong, Kongsap; Ogata, Yuko; Hirai, Hisashi; Iwasa, Satoru; Mizukawa, Kaoruko; Hagino, Yuki; Imamura, Ayako; Saha, Mahua; Takada, Hideshige


    Plastics debris in the marine environment, including resin pellets, fragments and microscopic plastic fragments, contain organic contaminants, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, petroleum hydrocarbons, organochlorine pesticides (2,2′-bis(p-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane, hexachlorinated hexanes), polybrominated diphenylethers, alkylphenols and bisphenol A, at concentrations from sub ng g–1 to µg g–1. Some of these compounds are added during plastics manufacture, while others adsorb from the surrounding seawater. Concentrations of hydrophobic contaminants adsorbed on plastics showed distinct spatial variations reflecting global pollution patterns. Model calculations and experimental observations consistently show that polyethylene accumulates more organic contaminants than other plastics such as polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride. Both a mathematical model using equilibrium partitioning and experimental data have demonstrated the transfer of contaminants from plastic to organisms. A feeding experiment indicated that PCBs could transfer from contaminated plastics to streaked shearwater chicks. Plasticizers, other plastics additives and constitutional monomers also present potential threats in terrestrial environments because they can leach from waste disposal sites into groundwater and/or surface waters. Leaching and degradation of plasticizers and polymers are complex phenomena dependent on environmental conditions in the landfill and the chemical properties of each additive. Bisphenol A concentrations in leachates from municipal waste disposal sites in tropical Asia ranged from sub µg l–1 to mg l–1 and were correlated with the level of economic development. PMID:19528054

  18. Increasing frequency of plastic particles ingested by seabirds in the subarctic North Pacific

    Robards, Martin D.; Piatt, John F.; Wohl, Kenton D.


    We examined gut contents of 1799 seabirds comprising 24 species collected in 1988-1990 to assess the types and quantities of plastic particles ingested by seabirds in the subarctic waters of Alaska. Of the 15 species found to ingest plastic, most were surface-feeders (shearwaters, petrels, gulls) or plankton-feeding divers (auklets, puffins). Of 4417 plastic particles examined, 76% were industrial pellets and 21% were fragments of ‘user’ plastic. Ingestion rates varied geographically, but no trends were evident and rates of plastic ingestion varied far more among species within areas than within species among areas. Comparison with similar data from 1968 seabirds comprising 37 species collected in 1969-1977 revealed that plastic ingestion by seabirds has increased significantly during the 10–15-year interval between studies. This was demonstrated by: (i) an increase in the total number of species ingesting plastic; (ii) an increase in the frequency of occurrence of plastic particles within species that ingested plastic; and, (iii) an increase in the mean number of plastic particles ingested by individuals of those species.

  19. Carbon-13 and nitrogen-15 enrichment in coastal forest foliage from nutrient-poor and seabird-enriched sites in southern New Zealand

    Hawke, D.J.; Newman, J.


    To assess the effect of nutrient inputs from breeding seabirds on forest foliage δ 13 C and δ 15 N, we collected foliage samples from two contrasting locations. Olearia lyallii forest on North East Island at The Snares hosts large numbers of (in particular) breeding sooty shearwaters (Puffinus griseus). At Mason Bay (Rakiura/Stewart Island), samples of Brachyglottis rotundifolia, Griselinia littoralis, and Dracophyllum longifolium were collected from two strata within diverse dune forest and one stratum from the open dunes. The δ 13 C results were typical of C 3 plants and did not differ significantly between Mason Bay and North East Island. In contrast, the δ 15 N results from Mason Bay (mean ± standard deviation, -6.1 ± 1.7 permille) were significantly lower than expected for temperate forest (95% confidence interval of difference, 2.7-3.9 permille), and dramatically lower (19.1-21.5 permille) than North East Island where enrichments (+14.2 ± 3.1 permille) were among the highest ever reported for vegetation. (author). 33 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs

  20. Breeding phenology and winter activity predict subsequent breeding success in a trans-global migratory seabird.

    Shoji, A; Aris-Brosou, S; Culina, A; Fayet, A; Kirk, H; Padget, O; Juarez-Martinez, I; Boyle, D; Nakata, T; Perrins, C M; Guilford, T


    Inter-seasonal events are believed to connect and affect reproductive performance (RP) in animals. However, much remains unknown about such carry-over effects (COEs), in particular how behaviour patterns during highly mobile life-history stages, such as migration, affect RP. To address this question, we measured at-sea behaviour in a long-lived migratory seabird, the Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) and obtained data for individual migration cycles over 5 years, by tracking with geolocator/immersion loggers, along with 6 years of RP data. We found that individual breeding and non-breeding phenology correlated with subsequent RP, with birds hyperactive during winter more likely to fail to reproduce. Furthermore, parental investment during one year influenced breeding success during the next, a COE reflecting the trade-off between current and future RP. Our results suggest that different life-history stages interact to influence RP in the next breeding season, so that behaviour patterns during winter may be important determinants of variation in subsequent fitness among individuals. © 2015 The Authors.

  1. Distribution of marine birds on Georges Bank and Adjacent waters. Progress report No. 2, April--June 1978

    Powers, K.D.


    From 27 March to 20 June 1978, 7 cruises aboard U.S. Coast Guard cutters DECISIVE, VIGILANT, and VIGOROUS and the National Marine Fisheries Service research vessel ALBATROSS IV were made on outer continental shelf waters in regions from the mid-Atlantic to the Gulf of Maine and Scotian Shelf. A total of 13916 marine birds of at least 27 species were counted in 711.16 km/sup 2/ sampled from 730 fixed-area transects (300m wide by 10 minutes cruising time). An equal number of 10-minute total bird counts (no fixed area) were conducted at the same time. All of MBO cruises conducted in 1978 have been transcribed onto computer data sheets and were proofed and verified. Seven of 24 MBO cruises made in 1977 have been transcribed. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird and Habitat Research Laboratory will keypunch the data. From a review of over 100 scientific papers and books, food habits of fulmars, shearwaters, storm-petrels, gannets, gulls, and alcids were referenced by bird species and author.

  2. A possible early muttonbirder's fire on Poutama, a Rakiura titi island, New Zealand

    Hawke, D.; Newman, J.; Moller, H.; Wixon, J.


    Muttonbirding for sooty shearwaters (Puffinus griseus) on islands around Rakiura is an ongoing traditional activity of local Maori. There is little archaeological evidence to pinpoint the onset of large-scale birding, so some researchers have suggested that widespread systematic muttonbirding only began in protohistoric times. We present AMS radiocarbon data from an archaeological fire found 65 cm subsurface on Poutama, an island off Rakiura. Duplicate analyses of charcoal and a single analysis of underlying peat were used to date the fire, constrained by C accumulation calculations and chemical and isotopic analysis. By comparing C:N ratios and C accumulation calculations with literature values, the peat result (176 ± 55 BP) was shown to be invalid because of contamination via bioturbation. The combined charcoal radiocarbon data were consistent with being estimates of a single value (326 ± 42 BP). After calibration, the fire was dated at AD 1470-1660 (95% confidence interval). Carbon-13 analysis was consistent with charcoal from different individual plants. The C accumulation rate (61-96 g C m -2 yr -1 ) was at the upper end of literature values, consistent with a high nutrient and well-oxygenated soil environment. Our results highlight the need for more systematic data collection and experimentation to better assess the time of onset of systematic muttonbirding. (author). 46 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab

  3. Behavioural mapping of a pelagic seabird: combining multiple sensors and a hidden Markov model reveals the distribution of at-sea behaviour

    Dean, Ben; Freeman, Robin; Kirk, Holly; Leonard, Kerry; Phillips, Richard A.; Perrins, Chris M.; Guilford, Tim


    The use of miniature data loggers is rapidly increasing our understanding of the movements and habitat preferences of pelagic seabirds. However, objectively interpreting behavioural information from the large volumes of highly detailed data collected by such devices can be challenging. We combined three biologging technologies—global positioning system (GPS), saltwater immersion and time–depth recorders—to build a detailed picture of the at-sea behaviour of the Manx shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) during the breeding season. We used a hidden Markov model to explore discrete states within the combined GPS and immersion data, and found that behaviour could be organized into three principal activities representing (i) sustained direct flight, (ii) sitting on the sea surface, and (iii) foraging, comprising tortuous flight interspersed with periods of immersion. The additional logger data verified that the foraging activity corresponded well to the occurrence of diving. Applying this approach to a large tracking dataset revealed that birds from two different colonies foraged in local waters that were exclusive, but overlapped in one key area: the Irish Sea Front (ISF). We show that the allocation of time to each activity differed between colonies, with birds breeding furthest from the ISF spending the greatest proportion of time engaged in direct flight and the smallest proportion of time engaged in foraging activity. This type of analysis has considerable potential for application in future biologging studies and in other taxa. PMID:23034356

  4. Plastic ingestion in marine-associated bird species from the eastern North Pacific.

    Avery-Gomm, S; Provencher, J F; Morgan, K H; Bertram, D F


    In addition to monitoring trends in plastic pollution, multi-species surveys are needed to fully understand the pervasiveness of plastic ingestion. We examined the stomach contents of 20 bird species collected from the coastal waters of the eastern North Pacific, a region known to have high levels of plastic pollution. We observed no evidence of plastic ingestion in Rhinoceros Auklet, Marbled Murrelet, Ancient Murrelet or Pigeon Guillemot, and low levels in Common Murre (2.7% incidence rate). Small sample sizes limit our ability to draw conclusions about population level trends for the remaining fifteen species, though evidence of plastic ingestion was found in Glaucous-Winged Gull and Sooty Shearwater. Documenting levels of plastic ingestion in a wide array of species is necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding about the impacts of plastic pollution. We propose that those working with bird carcasses follow standard protocols to assess the levels of plastic ingestion whenever possible. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Remotely sensed wind speed predicts soaring behaviour in a wide-ranging pelagic seabird.

    Gibb, Rory; Shoji, Akiko; Fayet, Annette L; Perrins, Chris M; Guilford, Tim; Freeman, Robin


    Global wind patterns affect flight strategies in many birds, including pelagic seabirds, many of which use wind-powered soaring to reduce energy costs during at-sea foraging trips and migration. Such long-distance movement patterns are underpinned by local interactions between wind conditions and flight behaviour, but these fine-scale relationships are far less well understood. Here we show that remotely sensed ocean wind speed and direction are highly significant predictors of soaring behaviour in a migratory pelagic seabird, the Manx shearwater ( Puffinus puffinus ). We used high-frequency GPS tracking data (10 Hz) and statistical behaviour state classification to identify two energetic modes in at-sea flight, corresponding to flap-like and soar-like flight. We show that soaring is significantly more likely to occur in tailwinds and crosswinds above a wind speed threshold of around 8 m s -1 , suggesting that these conditions enable birds to reduce metabolic costs by preferentially soaring over flapping. Our results suggest a behavioural mechanism by which wind conditions may shape foraging and migration ecology in pelagic seabirds, and thus indicate that shifts in wind patterns driven by climate change could impact this and other species. They also emphasize the emerging potential of high-frequency GPS biologgers to provide detailed quantitative insights into fine-scale flight behaviour in free-living animals. © 2017 The Author(s).

  6. Homology and homoplasy of swimming behaviors and neural circuits in the Nudipleura (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia)

    Newcomb, James M.; Sakurai, Akira; Lillvis, Joshua L.; Gunaratne, Charuni A.; Katz, Paul S.


    How neural circuit evolution relates to behavioral evolution is not well understood. Here the relationship between neural circuits and behavior is explored with respect to the swimming behaviors of the Nudipleura (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Opithobranchia). Nudipleura is a diverse monophyletic clade of sea slugs among which only a small percentage of species can swim. Swimming falls into a limited number of categories, the most prevalent of which are rhythmic left–right body flexions (LR) and rhythmic dorsal–ventral body flexions (DV). The phylogenetic distribution of these behaviors suggests a high degree of homoplasy. The central pattern generator (CPG) underlying DV swimming has been well characterized in Tritonia diomedea and in Pleurobranchaea californica. The CPG for LR swimming has been elucidated in Melibe leonina and Dendronotus iris, which are more closely related. The CPGs for the categorically distinct DV and LR swimming behaviors consist of nonoverlapping sets of homologous identified neurons, whereas the categorically similar behaviors share some homologous identified neurons, although the exact composition of neurons and synapses in the neural circuits differ. The roles played by homologous identified neurons in categorically distinct behaviors differ. However, homologous identified neurons also play different roles even in the swim CPGs of the two LR swimming species. Individual neurons can be multifunctional within a species. Some of those functions are shared across species, whereas others are not. The pattern of use and reuse of homologous neurons in various forms of swimming and other behaviors further demonstrates that the composition of neural circuits influences the evolution of behaviors. PMID:22723353

  7. When celibacy matters: incorporating non-breeders improves demographic parameter estimates.

    Pardo, Deborah; Weimerskirch, Henri; Barbraud, Christophe


    In long-lived species only a fraction of a population breeds at a given time. Non-breeders can represent more than half of adult individuals, calling in doubt the relevance of estimating demographic parameters from the sole breeders. Here we demonstrate the importance of considering observable non-breeders to estimate reliable demographic traits: survival, return, breeding, hatching and fledging probabilities. We study the long-lived quasi-biennial breeding wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans). In this species, the breeding cycle lasts almost a year and birds that succeed a given year tend to skip the next breeding occasion while birds that fail tend to breed again the following year. Most non-breeders remain unobservable at sea, but still a substantial number of observable non-breeders (ONB) was identified on breeding sites. Using multi-state capture-mark-recapture analyses, we used several measures to compare the performance of demographic estimates between models incorporating or ignoring ONB: bias (difference in mean), precision (difference is standard deviation) and accuracy (both differences in mean and standard deviation). Our results highlight that ignoring ONB leads to bias and loss of accuracy on breeding probability and survival estimates. These effects are even stronger when studied in an age-dependent framework. Biases on breeding probabilities and survival increased with age leading to overestimation of survival at old age and thus actuarial senescence and underestimation of reproductive senescence. We believe our study sheds new light on the difficulties of estimating demographic parameters in species/taxa where a significant part of the population does not breed every year. Taking into account ONB appeared important to improve demographic parameter estimates, models of population dynamics and evolutionary conclusions regarding senescence within and across taxa.

  8. Comparative mapping of GABA-immunoreactive neurons in the central nervous systems of nudibranch molluscs.

    Gunaratne, Charuni A; Sakurai, Akira; Katz, Paul S


    The relative simplicity of certain invertebrate nervous systems, such as those of gastropod molluscs, allows behaviors to be dissected at the level of small neural circuits composed of individually identifiable neurons. Elucidating the neurotransmitter phenotype of neurons in neural circuits is important for understanding how those neural circuits function. In this study, we examined the distribution of γ-aminobutyric-acid;-immunoreactive (GABA-ir) neurons in four species of sea slugs (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Opisthobranchia, Nudibranchia): Tritonia diomedea, Melibe leonina, Dendronotus iris, and Hermissenda crassicornis. We found consistent patterns of GABA immunoreactivity in the pedal and cerebral-pleural ganglia across species. In particular, there were bilateral clusters in the lateral and medial regions of the dorsal surface of the cerebral ganglia as well as a cluster on the ventral surface of the pedal ganglia. There were also individual GABA-ir neurons that were recognizable across species. The invariant presence of these individual neurons and clusters suggests that they are homologous, although there were interspecies differences in the numbers of neurons in the clusters. The GABAergic system was largely restricted to the central nervous system, with the majority of axons confined to ganglionic connectives and commissures, suggesting a central, integrative role for GABA. GABA was a candidate inhibitory neurotransmitter for neurons in central pattern generator (CPG) circuits underlying swimming behaviors in these species, however none of the known swim CPG neurons were GABA-ir. Although the functions of these GABA-ir neurons are not known, it is clear that their presence has been strongly conserved across nudibranchs. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Characterization and expression analysis of AH receptors in aquatic mammals and birds

    Kim, Eun-Young [Ehime Prefectural Institute of Public Health and Environmental Science, Matsuyama (Japan); Yasui, Tomoko; Hisato, Iwata; Shinsuke, Tanabe [Ehime Univ., Matsuyama (Japan)


    The magnitude of the risk that 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD) and related planar halogenated aromatic hydrocarbons (PHAHs) pose to the health of aquatic birds and mammals is uncertain, because of the lack of direct information on the sensitivity and toxicity to these chemicals. Exposure to PHAHs is speculated to produce toxicity through changes in the expression of genes involved in the control of cell growth and differentiation. These changes are initiated by the binding to the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR), a ligand-dependent transcription factor. The AHR and its dimerization partner ARNT belong to the basic-helix-loop-helix/Per-ARNT-Sim (bHLH-PAS) family of transcriptional regulation proteins. The bHLH domain was involved in protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions, and the PAS domain forms a secondary dimerization surface for heteromeric interactions between AHR and ARNT. Although the presence and basic function of AHR are known to be conserved in most vertebrates, only a limited number of studies on the structure and functional diversity of AHR in aquatic mammals and birds have been reported, in spite of their high exposure to dioxins and other related chemicals. To understand the molecular mechanism of susceptibility to dioxin exposure and toxic effects that PHAHs pose in wild animals, we investigated the molecular and functional characterization of AHRs from aquatic mammals and birds. Initially, the AHR cDNAs from the livers of Baikal seal (Pusa sibirica), black-footed albatross (Diomedea nigripes) and common cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) were cloned and sequenced. We also clarified the tissue-specific expression pattern of AHR mRNA and the relationships among PHAHs, AHR and CYP expression levels in the liver of Baikal seals and common cormorants.

  10. A new approach to study of seabird-fishery overlap: Connecting chick feeding with parental foraging and overlap with fishing vessels

    Junichi Sugishita


    Full Text Available Incidental fisheries bycatch is recognised as a major threat to albatross populations worldwide. However, fishery discards and offal produced in large quantities might benefit some scavenging seabirds. Here, we demonstrate an integrated approach to better understand the ecological ramifications of fine-scale overlap between seabirds and fisheries. As a case study, we examined whether foraging in association with a fishing vessel is advantageous for chick provisioning in terms of quantity of food delivered to chicks, in northern royal albatross (Diomedea sanfordi at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand. Fine-scale overlap between albatrosses and vessels was quantified by integrating GPS tracking and Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS. Meal size delivered to chicks was measured using custom-designed nest balances, and monitoring of attendance of adults fitted with radio transmitters was used in conjunction with time-lapse photography at the nest allowed us to allocate each feeding event to a specific parent. The combination of these techniques enabled comparison of meal sizes delivered to chicks with parental foraging trip durations with or without fishing vessels association. A total of 45 foraging trips and associated chick feeding events were monitored during the chick-rearing period in 2012. Differences in the meal size and foraging trip duration relative to foraging overlap with fisheries were examined using a linear mixed-effect model, adjusted for chick age. Our results, based on three birds, suggest that foraging in association with vessels does not confer an advantage for chick feeding for this population that demonstrated low rates of overlap while foraging. The integrated research design presented can be applied to other seabird species that are susceptible to bycatch, and offers a valuable approach to evaluate habitat quality by linking habitat use and foraging success in terms of total amount of food delivered to offspring.

  11. Synthetic polymers in the marine environment: a rapidly increasing, long-term threat.

    Moore, Charles James


    Synthetic polymers, commonly known as plastics, have been entering the marine environment in quantities paralleling their level of production over the last half century. However, in the last two decades of the 20th Century, the deposition rate accelerated past the rate of production, and plastics are now one of the most common and persistent pollutants in ocean waters and beaches worldwide. Thirty years ago the prevailing attitude of the plastic industry was that "plastic litter is a very small proportion of all litter and causes no harm to the environment except as an eyesore" [Derraik, J.G.B., 2002. The pollution of the marine environment by plastic debris: a review. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 44(9), 842-852]. Between 1960 and 2000, the world production of plastic resins increased 25-fold, while recovery of the material remained below 5%. Between 1970 and 2003, plastics became the fastest growing segment of the US municipal waste stream, increasing nine-fold, and marine litter is now 60-80% plastic, reaching 90-95% in some areas. While undoubtedly still an eyesore, plastic debris today is having significant harmful effects on marine biota. Albatross, fulmars, shearwaters and petrels mistake floating plastics for food, and many individuals of these species are affected; in fact, 44% of all seabird species are known to ingest plastic. Sea turtles ingest plastic bags, fishing line and other plastics, as do 26 species of cetaceans. In all, 267 species of marine organisms worldwide are known to have been affected by plastic debris, a number that will increase as smaller organisms are assessed. The number of fish, birds, and mammals that succumb each year to derelict fishing nets and lines in which they become entangled cannot be reliably known; but estimates are in the millions. We divide marine plastic debris into two categories: macro, >5 mm and micro, plastic micro-debris by filter feeders at the base of the food web is known to occur, but has not been quantified

  12. Marine bird abundance around the Pribilof Islands: A multi-year comparison

    Jahncke, Jaime; Vlietstra, Lucy S.; Decker, Mary Beth; Hunt, George L., Jr.


    We examined trends in the abundance and distribution of 12 species of marine birds around the Pribilof Islands, southeastern Bering Sea, over the period from 1977 to 2004. We contrasted patterns among piscivores and planktivores and related these to known and hypothesized changes in the abundance and distribution of prey in the vicinity of the islands. Planktivorous and piscivorous species of marine birds showed different patterns of abundance over time. Planktivorous seabirds that breed away from the Pribilof Islands (e.g., short-tailed shearwaters [ Puffinus tenuirostris], fork-tailed storm-petrels [ Oceanodroma furcata] and red phalaropes [ Phalaropus fulicarius]) were scarce in the 1970s, were abundant in the 1980s, and declined in abundance in the 1990s and from 1999 to 2004. Planktivorous alcids combined (parakeet [ Aethia psittacula], crested [ A. cristatella] and least [ A. pusilla]) that breed on the Pribilof Islands showed a similar remarkable four-fold increase from the 1970s to the 1980s, but then a small increase into the 1990s followed by a rapid decline in the 2000s to numbers similar to those present during the 1970s. The abundance of piscivores kittiwakes ( Rissa spp.) and murres ( Una spp.) was high in the 1970s and declined through the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. In 1999 and 2004, the total number of all seabirds at sea around the Pribilof Islands was well below the numbers seen at any other survey period. We hypothesize that changes in the abundances and types of seabirds present through time reflect changes in the structure of the marine ecosystem of the eastern Bering Sea shelf. We suggest that changes in pathways of energy flow may be responsible for these shifts, though the possibility that there has been a reduction in productivity cannot be ruled out given the scarcity of available data.

  13. The evolution of seabirds in the Humboldt Current: new clues from the Pliocene of Central Chile.

    Martín Chávez Hoffmeister

    Full Text Available During the last decade, new Neogene fossil assemblages from South America have revealed important clues about the evolution of seabird faunas in one of the major upwelling systems of the world: the Humboldt Current. However, most of this record comes from arid Northern Chile and Southern Peru and, in consequence, our knowledge of the evolutionary history of seabirds in the temperate transitional zone is negligible. A new Late Pliocene assemblage of fossil birds from the coastal locality of Horcon in Central Chile offers a unique opportunity to fill this gap.Isolated bones of a medium-sized penguin are the most abundant bird remains. Morphological and cladistic analyses reveal that these specimens represent a new species of crested penguin, Eudyptes calauina sp. nov. Eudyptes is a penguin genus that inhabit temperate and subantarctic regions and currently absent in central Chile. Additionally, a partial skeleton of a small species of cormorant and a partial tarsometatarsus of a sooty shearwater have been identified.The Horcon fossils suggest the existence of a mixed avifauna in central Chile during the Pliocene in concordance with the latitudinal thermal gradient. This resembles the current assemblages from the transitional zone, with the presence of species shared with Northern Chile and Southern Peru and a previously unrecorded penguin currently absent from the Humboldt System but present in the Magellanic region. Comparison of Pliocene seabird diversity across the Pacific coast of South America shows that the Horcon avifauna represents a distinctive assemblage linking the living faunas with the Late Miocene ones. A comparison with the fossil record near the Benguela Current (west coast of southern Africa suggests that the thermic gradient could play an important role in the preservation of a higher diversity of cold/temperate seabirds in the Humboldt Current.

  14. Spatial variation in egg size of a top predator: Interplay of body size and environmental factors?

    Louzao, Maite; Igual, José M.; Genovart, Meritxell; Forero, Manuela G.; Hobson, Keith A.; Oro, Daniel


    It is expected that nearby populations are constrained by the same ecological features shaping in turn similarity in their ecological traits. Here, we studied the spatio-temporal variability in egg size among local populations of the critically endangered Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus, a top marine predator endemic to the western Mediterranean region. Specifically we assessed whether this trait was influenced by maternal body size, as an indicator of a genetic component, and feeding ecology (through stable-carbon and nitrogen-isotope measurements), as an indicator of environmental factors. We found that egg size varied among local populations, an unexpected result at such a small spatial scale. Body size differences at the local population level only partially explained such differences. Blood isotope measurements also differed among local populations. Values of δ 15N suggested inter-population differences in trophic level, showing a similar general pattern with egg size, and suggesting a nutritional link between them whereby egg size was affected by differences in feeding resources and/or behaviour. Values of δ 13C suggested that local populations did not differ in foraging habits with respect to benthic- vs. pelagic-based food-webs. Egg size did not vary among years as did breeding performance, suggesting that a differential temporal window could affect both breeding parameters in relation to food availability. The absence of a relationship between breeding performance and egg size suggested that larger eggs might only confer an advantage during harsh conditions. Alternatively parental quality could greatly affect breeding performance. We showed that inter-population differences in egg size could be influenced by both body size and environmental factors.

  15. Novel insights into early neuroanatomical evolution in penguins from the oldest described penguin brain endocast.

    Proffitt, J V; Clarke, J A; Scofield, R P


    Digital methodologies for rendering the gross morphology of the brain from X-ray computed tomography data have expanded our current understanding of the origin and evolution of avian neuroanatomy and provided new perspectives on the cognition and behavior of birds in deep time. However, fossil skulls germane to extracting digital endocasts from early stem members of extant avian lineages remain exceptionally rare. Data from early-diverging species of major avian subclades provide key information on ancestral morphologies in Aves and shifts in gross neuroanatomical structure that have occurred within those groups. Here we describe data on the gross morphology of the brain from a mid-to-late Paleocene penguin fossil from New Zealand. This most basal and geochronologically earliest-described endocast from the penguin clade indicates that described neuroanatomical features of early stem penguins, such as lower telencephalic lateral expansion, a relatively wider cerebellum, and lack of cerebellar folding, were present far earlier in penguin history than previously inferred. Limited dorsal expansion of the wulst in the new fossil is a feature seen in outgroup waterbird taxa such as Gaviidae (Loons) and diving Procellariiformes (Shearwaters, Diving Petrels, and allies), indicating that loss of flight may not drastically affect neuroanatomy in diving taxa. Wulst enlargement in the penguin lineage is first seen in the late Eocene, at least 25 million years after loss of flight and cooption of the flight stroke for aquatic diving. Similar to the origin of avian flight, major shifts in gross brain morphology follow, but do not appear to evolve quickly after, acquisition of a novel locomotor mode. Enlargement of the wulst shows a complex pattern across waterbirds, and may be linked to sensory modifications related to prey choice and foraging strategy. © 2016 Anatomical Society.

  16. Boldness predicts an individual's position along an exploration-exploitation foraging trade-off.

    Patrick, Samantha C; Pinaud, David; Weimerskirch, Henri


    Individuals do not have complete information about the environment and therefore they face a trade-off between gathering information (exploration) and gathering resources (exploitation). Studies have shown individual differences in components of this trade-off but how stable these strategies are in a population and the intrinsic drivers of these differences is not well understood. Top marine predators are expected to experience a particularly strong trade-off as many species have large foraging ranges and their prey often have a patchy distribution. This environment leads these species to exhibit pronounced exploration and exploitation phases but differences between individuals are poorly resolved. Personality differences are known to be important in foraging behaviour but also in the trade-off between exploration and exploitation. Here we test whether personality predicts an individual exploration-exploitation strategy using wide ranging wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) as a model system. Using GPS tracking data from 276 wandering albatrosses, we extract foraging parameters indicative of exploration (searching) and exploitation (foraging) and show that foraging effort, time in patch and size of patch are strongly correlated, demonstrating these are indicative of an exploration-exploitation (EE) strategy. Furthermore, we show these are consistent within individuals and appear stable in the population, with no reproductive advantage. The searching and foraging behaviour of bolder birds placed them towards the exploration end of the trade-off, whereas shy birds showed greater exploitation. This result provides a mechanism through which individual foraging strategies may emerge. Age and sex affected components of the trade-off, but not the trade-off itself, suggesting these factors may drive behavioural compensation to maintain resource acquisition and this was supported by the evidence that there were no fitness consequence of any EE trait nor the trade

  17. Intrinsic neuromodulation in the Tritonia swim CPG: serotonin mediates both neuromodulation and neurotransmission by the dorsal swim interneurons.

    Katz, P S; Frost, W N


    1. Neuromodulation has previously been shown to be intrinsic to the central pattern generator (CPG) circuit that generates the escape swim of the nudibranch mollusk Tritonia diomedea; the dorsal swim interneurons (DSIs) make conventional monosynaptic connections and evoke neuromodulatory effects within the swim motor circuit. The conventional synaptic potentials evoked by a DSI onto cerebral neuron 2 (C2) and onto the dorsal flexion neurons (DFNs) consist of a fast excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) followed by a prolonged slow EPSP. In their neuromodulatory role, the DSIs produce an enhancement of the monosynaptic connections made by C2 onto other CPG circuit interneurons and onto efferent flexion neurons. Previous work showed that the DSIs are immunoreactive for serotonin. Here we provide evidence that both the neurotransmission and the neuromodulation evoked by the DSIs are produced by serotonin, and that these effects may be pharmacologically separable. 2. Previously it was shown that bath-applied serotonin both mimics and occludes the modulation of the C2 synapses by the DSIs. Here we find that pressure-applied puffs of serotonin mimic both the fast and slow EPSPs evoked by a DSI onto a DFN, whereas high concentrations of bath-applied serotonin occlude both of these synaptic components. 3. Consistent with the hypothesis that serotonin mediates the actions of the DSIs, the serotonin reuptake inhibitor imipramine prolongs the duration of the fast DSI-DFN EPSP, increases the amplitude of the slow DSI-DFN EPSP, and increases both the amplitude and duration of the modulation of the C2-DFN synapse by the DSIs. 4. Two serotonergic antagonists were found that block the actions of the DSIs. Gramine blocks the fast DSI-DFN EPSP, and has far less of an effect on the slow EPSP and the modulation. Gramine also diminishes the depolarization evoked by pressure-applied serotonin, showing that it is a serotonin antagonist in this system. In contrast, methysergide greatly

  18. Costs and benefits of trap-neuter-release and euthanasia for removal of urban cats in Oahu, Hawaii.

    Lohr, Cheryl A; Cox, Linda J; Lepczyk, Christopher A


    Our goal was to determine whether it is more cost-effective to control feral cat abundance with trap-neuter-release programs or trap and euthanize programs. Using STELLA 7, systems modeling software, we modeled changes over 30 years in abundance of cats in a feral colony in response to each management method and the costs and benefits associated with each method . We included costs associated with providing food, veterinary care, and microchips to the colony cats and the cost of euthanasia, wages, and trapping equipment in the model. Due to a lack of data on predation rates and disease transmission by feral cats the only benefits incorporated into the analyses were reduced predation on Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (Puffinus pacificus). When no additional domestic cats were abandoned by owners and the trap and euthanize program removed 30,000 cats in the first year, the colony was extirpated in at least 75% of model simulations within the second year. It took 30 years for trap-neuter-release to extirpate the colony. When the cat population was supplemented with 10% of the initial population size per year, the colony returned to carrying capacity within 6 years and the trap and euthanize program had to be repeated, whereas trap-neuter-release never reduced the number of cats to near zero within the 30-year time frame of the model. The abandonment of domestic cats reduced the cost effectiveness of both trap-neuter-release and trap and euthanize. Trap-neuter-release was approximately twice as expensive to implement as a trap and euthanize program. Results of sensitivity analyses suggested trap-neuter-release programs that employ volunteers are still less cost-effective than trap and euthanize programs that employ paid professionals and that trap-neuter-release was only effective when the total number of colony cats in an area was below 1000. Reducing the rate of abandonment of domestic cats appears to be a more effective solution for reducing the abundance of feral cats.

  19. Carry-over effects on the annual cycle of a migratory seabird: an experimental study.

    Fayet, Annette L; Freeman, Robin; Shoji, Akiko; Kirk, Holly L; Padget, Oliver; Perrins, Chris M; Guilford, Tim


    Long-lived migratory animals must balance the cost of current reproduction with their own condition ahead of a challenging migration and future reproduction. In these species, carry-over effects, which occur when events in one season affect the outcome of the subsequent season, may be particularly exacerbated. However, how carry-over effects influence future breeding outcomes and whether (and how) they also affect behaviour during migration and wintering is unclear. Here we investigate carry-over effects induced by a controlled, bidirectional manipulation of the duration of reproductive effort on the migratory, wintering and subsequent breeding behaviour of a long-lived migratory seabird, the Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus. By cross-fostering chicks of different age between nests, we successfully prolonged or shortened by ∼25% the chick-rearing period of 42 breeding pairs. We tracked the adults with geolocators over the subsequent year and combined migration route data with at-sea activity budgets obtained from high-resolution saltwater-immersion data. Migratory behaviour was also recorded during non-experimental years (the year before and/or two years after manipulation) for a subset of birds, allowing comparison between experimental and non-experimental years within treatment groups. All birds cared for chicks until normal fledging age, resulting in birds with a longer breeding period delaying their departure on migration; however, birds that finished breeding earlier did not start migrating earlier. Increased reproductive effort resulted in less time spent at the wintering grounds, a reduction in time spent resting daily and a delayed start of breeding with lighter eggs and chicks and lower breeding success the following breeding season. Conversely, reduced reproductive effort resulted in more time resting and less time foraging during the winter, but a similar breeding phenology and success compared with control birds the following year, suggesting that

  20. Inadequate environmental monitoring around offshore oil and gas platforms on the Grand Bank of Eastern Canada: are risks to marine birds known?

    Burke, C M; Montevecchi, W A; Wiese, F K


    Petroleum exploration and production on the Grand Bank of eastern Canada overlaps with productive marine habitat that supports over 40 million marine birds annually. Environmental assessments for oil and gas projects in the region predict insignificant adverse effects on marine birds from oil spills, incineration in platform flares and collisions. Limited baseline data on seasonal occupancies and a failure to quantify the nature and extent of marine bird attraction to platforms and related mortality undermines these assessments. We conducted 22 surveys to offshore platforms on the Grand Bank during 1999-2003 to measure avian associations with platforms and to determine the level of monitoring needed to assess the risks to marine birds. We document seasonal shifts in marine bird occurrences and higher densities of auks (fall) and shearwaters (summer) around platforms relative to surrounding areas. The limited temporal and spatial coverage of our surveys is more robust than existing industry monitoring efforts, yet it is still inadequate to quantify the scale of marine bird associations with platforms or their associated mortality risks. Systematic observations by independent biologists on vessels and platforms are needed to generate reliable assessments of risks to marine birds. Instead, the regulatory body for offshore oil and gas in eastern Canada (Canada - Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board; C-NLOPB) supports industry self-reporting as the accepted form of environmental monitoring. Conflicting responsibilities of oil and gas regulatory agencies for both energy development and environmental monitoring are major barriers to transparency, unbiased scientific inquiry and adequate environmental protection. Similar conflicts with the oil and gas regulatory body in the United States, the former Minerals and Management Service (MMS) were identified by the U.S. President as a major contributor to the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. The

  1. Longline fishing (how what you don't know can hurt you).

    Fitzgerald, Kevin T


    Longline fishing utilizes monofilament lines that can be as much as 62 miles long. The line itself is buoyed by Styrofoam or plastic floats. Usually, at about every 100ft, a secondary line is attached and hangs down from the mainline. The lines are baited with mackerel, squid, or shark meat and have as many as 10,000 hooks. Every 12-24 hours, the line is hauled in, mechanically rebaited, and set back into the water behind the vessel. The baited hooks can be seen by albatross and other seabirds as they are placed in the water or being hauled out. When the birds dive for the bait, they are hooked, dragged behind the fishing boat, and drown. Spectacularly nonselective, longline fishing techniques also hook many other forms of marine life-"bycatch" (sea turtles, seals, dolphins, penguins, sharks, and many other nontarget finfish). It is estimated that 300,000 seabirds (including 100,000 albatross) die on longlines each year. Albatross are among the longest-lived birds. They can live up to 60 years and some species do not start breeding until they are 10 years old. They have a low reproductive rate and many species only breed every other year. In addition, a species like the Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) rears its chicks for an average of more than 270 days. Albatross pair for life and may take years to find a new partner if their mate is killed. Owing to their incredibly low reproductive rate, albatross are particularly vulnerable to longline fishing. Currently, it is believed that 4 albatross drown per 100,000 hooks set. This is more than 400 birds a week. The current mortality rate for adult birds is not sustainable and for some species, the birds are dying faster that they can repopulate. Currently, 19 of the world's 22 albatross species are threatened with extinction. This year longline fishing ships will set 10 billion hooks worldwide. Various mitigation measures (bird-scaring lines, weighted, faster-sinking line, setting lines deeper out of the bird

  2. Pacific Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment (PaCSEA): aerial seabird and marine mammal surveys off northern California, Oregon, and Washington, 2011-2012

    Adams, Josh; Felis, Jonathan J.; Mason, John W.; Takekawa, John Y.


    counted (19,033) with Common Murres (Uria aalge) representing the majority of individuals counted (70.4% of total). The remaining six most abundant taxa included: Surf/White-winged Scoters (Melanitta perspicillata/M. fusca; 4.8% of total), Herring/Thayer’s Gulls (Larus argentatus/L. thayeri; 3.8% of total), Cassin’s Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus; 3.8% of total), Glaucous-winged Gulls (Larus glaucescens; 3.7% of total), Black-legged Kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla; 2.0% of total), and Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis; 1.9% of total). During summer, five species comprised >95% of the total number of birds counted (17,063) with the majority comprised of Common Murres (54.1% of total) and Sooty Shearwaters (Puffinus griseus; 34.4% of total). The remaining most abundant three taxa included: Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma furcata; 3.3% of total), Western Gulls (2.1% of total), and Leach’s Storm-Petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa; 1.1% of total). During fall, nine species comprised >85% of the total number of birds counted (23,376) with the majority comprised of Common Murres (50.0% of total) and Sooty Shearwaters (10.5% of total). The remaining seven taxa included Cassin’s Auklets (5.2% of total), Surf/White-winged Scoters (5.1% of total), Fork-tailed Storm-Petrels (3.8% of total), Red/Red-necked Phalaropes (Phalaropus fulicarius/P. lobatus; 3.2% of total), California Gulls (Larus californicus; 3.1% of total), Northern Fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis; 2.7% of total), and Sabine’s Gulls (Xema sabini; 2.2% of total). Throughout the entire PaCSEA survey area, average densities (± SE) at sea for all marine birds combined were similar between fall (23.7 ± 1.9 birds km-2) and winter (24.0 ± 1.9 birds km-2) and least during summer (16.3 ± 2.2 birds km-2). Marine bird densities at sea varied according to bathymetric domain and season. Throughout the entire PaCSEA study area average densities (± SE) for all marine birds combined were greatest over the inner-shelf domain

  3. California State Waters Map Series: offshore of Half Moon Bay, California

    Cochrane, Guy R.; Dartnell, Peter; Greene, H. Gary; Johnson, Samuel Y.; Golden, Nadine E.; Hartwell, Stephen R.; Dieter, Bryan E.; Manson, Michael W.; Sliter, Ray W.; Ross, Stephanie L.; Watt, Janet T.; Endris, Charles A.; Kvitek, Rikk G.; Phillips, Eleyne L.; Erdey, Mercedes D.; Chin, John L.; Bretz, Carrie K.


    area), although its associated phylogeographic group of marine fauna may extend beyond to the area offshore of Los Angeles in southern California. The ocean off central California has experienced a warming over the last 50 years that is driving an ecosystem shift away from the productive subarctic regime towards a depopulated subtropical environment. Seafloor habitats in the Offshore of Half Moon Bay map area, which lies within the Shelf (continental shelf) megahabitat, range from significant rocky outcrops that support kelp-forest communities nearshore to rocky-reef communities in deep water. Biological productivity resulting from coastal upwelling supports populations of sea birds such as Sooty Shearwater, Western Gull, Common Murre, Cassin’s Auklet, and many other less populous bird species. In addition, an observable recovery of Humpback and Blue Whales has occurred in the area; both species are dependent on coastal upwelling to provide nutrients. The large extent of exposed inner shelf bedrock supports large forests of “bull kelp,” which is well adapted for high wave-energy environments. Common fish species found in the kelp beds and rocky reefs include lingcod and various species of rockfish and greenling.

  4. California State Waters Map Series: offshore of San Gregorio, California

    Cochrane, Guy R.; Dartnell, Peter; Greene, H. Gary; Watt, Janet T.; Golden, Nadine E.; Endris, Charles A.; Phillips, Eleyne L.; Hartwell, Stephen R.; Johnson, Samuel Y.; Kvitek, Rikk G.; Erdey, Mercedes D.; Bretz, Carrie K.; Manson, Michael W.; Sliter, Ray W.; Ross, Stephanie L.; Dieter, Bryan E.; Chin, John L.; Cochran, Susan A.; Cochrane, Guy R.; Cochran, Susan A.


    over the last 50 years that is driving an ecosystem shift away from the productive subarctic regime towards a depopulated subtropical environment. Seafloor habitats in the Offshore of San Gregorio map area, which lies within the Shelf (continental shelf) megahabitat, range from significant rocky outcrops that support kelp-forest communities nearshore to rocky-reef communities in deep water. Biological productivity resulting from coastal upwelling supports diverse populations of sea birds such as Sooty Shearwater, Western Gull, Common Murre, Cassin's Auklet, and many other less populous bird species. In addition, an observable recovery of Humpback and Blue Whales has occurred in the area; both species are dependent on coastal upwelling to provide nutrients. The large extent of exposed inner shelf bedrock supports large forests of "bull kelp," which is well adapted for high wave-energy environments. Common fish species found in the kelp beds and rocky reefs include lingcod and various species of rockfish and greenling.

  5. California State Waters Map Series—Offshore of Santa Cruz, California

    Cochrane, Guy R.; Dartnell, Peter; Johnson, Samuel Y.; Erdey, Mercedes D.; Golden, Nadine E.; Greene, H. Gary; Dieter, Bryan E.; Hartwell, Stephen R.; Ritchie, Andrew C.; Finlayson, David P.; Endris, Charles A.; Watt, Janet T.; Davenport, Clifton W.; Sliter, Ray W.; Maier, Katherine L.; Krigsman, Lisa M.; Cochrane, Guy R.; Cochran, Susan A.


    phylogeographic group of marine fauna may extend beyond to the area offshore of Los Angeles in southern California. The ocean off of central California has experienced a warming over the last 50 years that is driving an ecosystem shift away from the productive subarctic regime towards a depopulated subtropical environment.Biological productivity resulting from coastal upwelling supports populations of Sooty Shearwater, Western Gull, Common Murre, Cassin’s Auklet, and many other less populous bird species. In addition, an observable recovery of Humpback and Blue Whales has occurred in the area; both species are dependent on coastal upwelling to provide nutrients. The large extent of exposed inner shelf bedrock supports large forests of “bull kelp,” which is well adapted for high-wave-energy environments. The kelp beds are the northernmost known habitat for the population of southern sea otters. Common fish species found in the kelp beds and rocky reefs include lingcod and various species of rockfish and greenling.

  6. California State Waters Map Series—Offshore of Monterey, California

    Johnson, Samuel Y.; Dartnell, Peter; Hartwell, Stephen R.; Cochrane, Guy R.; Golden, Nadine E.; Watt, Janet T.; Davenport, Clifton W.; Kvitek, Rikk G.; Erdey, Mercedes D.; Krigsman, Lisa M.; Sliter, Ray W.; Maier, Katherine L.; Johnson, Samuel Y.; Cochran, Susan A.


    swells from the northwest throughout the year. Wave heights range from 2 to 10 m, the larger swells occurring from October to May. During El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, winter storms track farther south than they do in normal (non-ENSO) years, thereby impacting the map area more frequently and with waves of larger heights.Benthic species observed in the map area are natives of the cold-temperate biogeographic zone that is called either the “Oregonian province” or the “northern California ecoregion.” This biogeographic province is maintained by the long-term stability of the southward-flowing California Current, the eastern limb of the North Pacific subtropical gyre that flows from southern British Columbia to Baja California.Biological productivity resulting from coastal upwelling supports populations of Sooty Shearwater, Western Gull, Common Murre, Cassin’s Auklet, and many other less populous bird species. An observable recovery of Humpback and Blue Whales has occurred in the area; both species are dependent on coastal upwelling to provide nutrients. The large extent of exposed inner shelf bedrock supports large forests of “bull kelp,” which is well adapted for high-wave-energy environments. The kelp beds are well-known habitat for the population of southern sea otters. Common fish species found in the kelp beds and rocky reefs include lingcod and various species of rockfish and greenling.