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Responses by four seabird species to a fluctuating availability of Cape anchovy Engraulis capensis off South Africa
Crawford, R.J.M.; Dyer, B.M. (1995). Responses by four seabird species to a fluctuating availability of Cape anchovy Engraulis capensis off South Africa. Ibis 137(3): 329–339. hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1474-919X.1995.tb08029.x
In: Ibis. British Ornithologists' Union/Wiley: London. ISSN 0019-1019, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keywords
    Engraulis capensis Gilchrist, 1913 [WoRMS]; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Crawford, R.J.M.
  • Dyer, B.M.

Abstract
    In recent years, Cape Anchovy Engraulis capensis has been the most important food for four seabirds breeding in South Africa–African Penguin Spheniscus demersus, Cape Gannet Morus capensis, Cape Cormorant Phalacrocorax capensis and Swift Tern Sterna bergii. Between 1984 and 1992, biomass of spawning anchovy fluctuated between about 0.5 and 1.75 million tons. Abundance of anchovy was significantly related to numbers of chicks fledged by African Penguins, occurrence of anchovy in the diet of Cape Gannets and numbers of Cape Cormorants and Swift Terns that attempted to breed. Numbers of African Penguins and Cape Gannets that attempted breeding probably also were influenced by abundance of anchovy. African Penguins and Cape Cormorants abandoned nests when anchovy were scarce and deferred breeding until anchovy became more plentiful. Survival of immature African Penguins in a period of anchovy scarcity was enhanced by availability of South African Sardine Sardinops sagax as an alternative food. When anchovy abundance was low, Cape Gannets fed on sardine.

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