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Foraging habitats of the seabird community of Europa Island (Mozambique Channel)
Jaquemet, S., M. Le Corre, F. Marsac, M. Potier and H. Weimerskirch. 2005. Foraging habitats of the seabird community of Europa Island (Mozambique Channel). Marine Biology. 147(3):573-582

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Availability: Creative Commons License This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

We studied the at-sea distribution and abundance of the seabird species that breed during the austral winter on Europa Island in relation to physical and biological factors. We tested how the different species distributed themselves within their foraging range and whether specific locations aggregate foraging seabirds. We also examine the foraging strategies adopted by each species, particularly the importance of local enhancement on the feeding activity of the seabirds. more

We investigated the foraging habitats of the winter breeding community of tropical seabirds from Europa Island (Mozambique Channel) in September 2003. We focused our study on the dominant species of this austral community, the sooty tern (Sterna fuscata), the red-footed booby (Sula sula), and the frigatebirds, including the great (Fregata minor) and the lesser frigatebirds (F. ariel). We considered the at-sea distribution and abundance of these species in relation to chlorophyll concentration, sea surface temperatures, sea surface height anomalies, depth of the thermocline, distance to the colony, and presence of surface marine predators, flying fishes and other seabirds. Although the marine environment where seabirds foraged was oligotrophic, it presents the best feeding opportunities for seabirds for the area in winter. Our study demonstrates that the winter-breeding seabird species of Europa Island tend to forage in productive waters in association with other marine predators when possible. Sooty terns and frigatebirds were widely distributed in the whole study area, whereas red-footed boobies were not found farther than 160 km from their colonies and were associated with relatively productive waters. Sooty terns and red-footed boobies were aggregated where flying fishes were abundant. The presence of other marine predators was associated with larger multispecies feeding flocks than when no association occurred. Sooty terns, which are numerically dominant at Europa and adopted network foraging, seem to be catalysts of feeding events, and represented a good target for the other foraging species, especially frigatebirds. However, when possible, frigatebirds favor association with flocks of red-footed boobies.

Biology > Birds
Marine, ISW, Mozambique Channel, Aves, Puffinus carneipes Gould, 1844, Sterna fuscata Linnaeus, 1766

Geographical coverage
ISW, Mozambique Channel [Marine Regions]

Temporal coverage
8 September 2003 - 22 September 2003

Taxonomic coverage
Aves [WoRMS]
Puffinus carneipes Gould, 1844 [WoRMS]
Sterna fuscata Linnaeus, 1766 [WoRMS]

Université de la Réunion; Laboratoire d'Ecologie Marine (ECOMAR), moredata owner

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Published in:
OBIS-SEAMAP: Spatial Ecological Analysis of Megavertebrate Populations, more

Dataset information:

Dataset status: Completed
Data type: Data
Data origin: Research: field survey
Metadatarecord created: 2012-11-23
Information last updated: 2012-11-23
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