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Exploitation of the marine environment by two sympatric albatrosses in the Pacific Southern Ocean

Waugh, S.M.; Weimerskirch, H.; Cherel, Y.; Shankar, U.; Prince, P.A.; Sagar, P.M.. 1999 Exploitation of the marine environment by two sympatric albatrosses in the Pacific Southern Ocean. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 177. 243-254. 10.3354/meps177243

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Abstract/Summary

The marine habitat exploited by black-browed Diomedea melanophrys and grey-headed albatrosses D. chrysostoma breeding at Campbell Island, New Zealand, was studied using satellite telemetry. Data were analysed in relation to the bathymetry and sea-surface temperature of the foraging zones. Black-browed albatrosses spent 55% of their time on the Campbell Plateau but also carried out long foraging trips to the Polar Front and Antarctic Zone at a distance of over 2000 km. They relied heavily on juvenile Micromesistius australis, a schooling fish, during foraging trips to the shelf but over oceanic waters the squid Martialia hyadesi was the main prey taken. Grey-headed albatrosses spent 71% of their time foraging over the deep waters of the Polar Frontal Zone where M. hyadesi comprised over 90% of the mass of prey taken. No satellite-tracked birds fed over the shelf, but data from the duration of foraging trips and dietary analysis suggests that shelf-feeding is important for this species. Significant inter-species differences in the time spent in neritic and oceanic zones show that black-browed albatrosses are reliant primarily on shelf resources while grey-headed albatrosses are primarily oceanic feeders. In addition, the 2 species overlapped little in the zones used over oceanic waters, with black-browed albatrosses feeding in more southerly waters than grey-headed albatrosses. However, both species feed on M. hyadesi when foraging in association with the Polar Front.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3354/meps177243
Programmes: BAS Programmes > Pre 2000 programme
ISSN: 0171-8630
Additional Keywords: marine environmental, albatross, satellite tracking
NORA Subject Terms: Electronics, Engineering and Technology
Date made live: 18 Nov 2013 10:36 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/503864

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