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Oceanographic characteristics of areas used by Cory’s shearwaters during short and long foraging trips in the North Atlantic
Paiva, V.H.; Geraldes, P.; Ramirez, I.; Meirinho, A.; Garthe, S.; Ramos, J.A. (2010). Oceanographic characteristics of areas used by Cory’s shearwaters during short and long foraging trips in the North Atlantic. Mar. Biol. (Berl.) 157(6): 1385-1399.
In: Marine Biology. Springer: Heidelberg; Berlin. ISSN 0025-3162, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • Paiva, V.H.
  • Geraldes, P.
  • Ramirez, I.
  • Meirinho, A.
  • Garthe, S.
  • Ramos, J.A.

    Many breeding seabird species are central-place foragers and constrained to find productive prey patches within their foraging ranges. We assessed how different populations of a pelagic seabird species, the Cory’s shearwater Calonectris diomedea, breeding in oceanic and neritic conditions, cope with these constraints in the North Atlantic, during both incubation and chick-rearing periods. We analysed 237 foraging trips to study the movements and oceanographic characteristics of foraging habitats of seven different populations of Cory’s shearwaters. Generally, oceanic populations exhibited higher foraging effort, by travelling more time and to more distant areas, and larger home ranges and feeding areas, than the neritic population (i.e. breeding on an island within the Portuguese continental platform). On their short trips (i.e. =4 days), birds from the different populations fed mostly in shallower waters around the colony. During long trips (i.e. =5 days), feeding areas of both oceanic and neritic populations were characterized by high concentration values of chlorophyll-a, low sea-surface temperature and shallower habitats, with oceanic populations of the Azores exploiting areas north of the islands over known seamounts and frontal regions. Birds from other oceanic population (Selvagens) also exploited the African continental shelf system on their long trips. The home ranges of the different populations overlapped widely, but there was a general spatial segregation in terms of the core feeding areas at the population level. Core feeding areas and areas of foraging overlap between different populations should be important to inform conservation management measures, such as the definition of Marine Important Bird Areas for seabirds over the North Atlantic.

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