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Distribution and abundance of marine bird and pinniped populations within Port Foster, Deception Island, Antarctica

Kendall, Katrina A.; Ruhl, Henry A.; Wilson, Robert C.. 2003 Distribution and abundance of marine bird and pinniped populations within Port Foster, Deception Island, Antarctica. Deep-Sea Research II, 50 (10-11). 1873-1888. 10.1016/S0967-0645(03)00096-1

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Abstract/Summary

Seabirds and pinnipeds were surveyed during four cruises from March 1999 to November 2000 at Port Foster, Deception Island, Antarctica. Abundances and distributions of three species of pinnipeds, Arctocephalus gazella (Antarctic fur seals), Leptonychotes weddelli (Weddell seals), and Lobodon carcinophagus (crabeater seals), and 11 species of marine birds were documented within Port Foster. A. gazella was the dominant pinniped within Port Foster; its abundance has increased since the 1986/87 austral summer season. A. gazella were concentrated at the entrance to Port Foster. More pinnipeds were observed during the austral summer than during the spring. The most dominant seabird, Pygoscelis antarctica (chinstrap penguin), was concentrated along the rocky cliffs behind the beaches where A. gazella hauled out. Larus dominicanus (kelp gull) and Daption capense (cape petrel) were the most dominant flying seabirds. All other seabird species were more widely distributed around Port Foster than P. antarctica. There was no clear trend in abundances of seabirds over the study period. It is possible that the protected area of Port Foster provides refuge for vagrants of colonies along the outer periphery of the island and as a stopover point for migrating species.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/S0967-0645(03)00096-1
ISSN: 0967-0645
Date made live: 23 Dec 2009 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/171805

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