At-sea movements of wedge-tailed shearwaters during and outside the breeding season from four colonies in New Caledonia

Type Article
Date 2020-01
Language English
Author(s) Weimerskirch Henri1, de Grissac Sophie1, 2, Ravache Andreas3, 4, Prudor Aurelien1, Corbeau Alexandre1, Congdon Bradley C.5, McDuie FionaORCID5, Bourgeois KarenORCID3, Dromzee Sylvain3, Butscher John6, Menkes Christophe4, Allain ValerieORCID7, Vidal Eric3, 4, Jaeger Audrey8, Borsa Philippe9
Affiliation(s) 1 : Univ La Rochelle, CNRS, UMR 7372, Ctr Etud Biol Chize, F-79360 Villiers En Bois, France.
2 : Swansea Univ, Dept Biosci, Swansea Lab Anim Movement, Swansea SA2 8PP, W Glam, Wales.
3 : Avignon Univ, Inst Mediterraneen Biodiversite & Ecol Marine & C, Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS,IRD,Ctr IRD Noumea, BP A5, Noumea 98848, New Caledonia.
4 : Univ La Reunion, Lab Excellence Labex, CORAIL, UMR ENTROPIE,IRD,CNRS, BP A5, Noumea 98848, New Caledonia.
5 : James Cook Univ, Coll Sci & Engn, Cairns, Qld 4878, Australia.
6 : Univ Paris 06, Sorbonne Univ, LOCEAN Lab, CNRS,MNHN,IRD,Ctr IRD Noumea,UPMC, F-98848 Noumea, France.
7 : Pacific Community CPS, Noumea 98848, New Caledonia.
8 : Univ La Reunion, UMR ENTROPIE, UMR 9220, CNRS,IRD, 15 Ave Rene Cassin,BP 92003, F-97744 St Denis, La Reunion, France.
9 : IRD, UMR ENTROPIE, F-34394 Montpellier, France.
Source Marine Ecology Progress Series (0171-8630) (Inter-research), 2020-01 , Vol. 633 , P. 225-238
DOI 10.3354/meps13171
WOS© Times Cited 6
Keyword(s) Seabird, Geolocator, GPS, Trans-equatorial migration, New Caledonia
Abstract The wedge-tailed shearwater (WTS) population of New Caledonia is one of the largest in the world, yet its biology and foraging ecology are poorly known. We studied WTS from4 colonies in New Caledonia. We examined foraging behaviour and habitats using GPS receivers and light sensors during and outside the breeding season, respectively, and compared our findings with those from other WTS populations worldwide. During breeding, New Caledonian WTS alternated short foraging trips close to the colony over the lagoon, or off the reef edge, with longer trips over distant, deep waters. Whereas neighboring colonies overlapped at sea, especially during short trips, there was a clear separation of foraging zones between the pairs of colonies located in the southern versus northwestern parts ofNewCaledonia. AlthoughWTSactively foraged and commuted to foraging zones during the day, they mainly returned to the colony or rested at night, indicating that they feed mainly during the day. Active foraging did not take place in more productive areas, suggesting that it may instead be related to the presence of sub-surface predators. Outside the breeding season, birds from 3 colonies had similar trans-equatorial migratory behaviour. All left New Caledonia at the same time of the year with a fast, northeasterly movement and wintered over deep waters in the same sector of the northwestern tropical Pacific Ocean. At overwintering sites, they spent most of their non-foraging time presumably sitting on the water, especially at night, making a slow westward movement before returning to New Caledonia. WTS from New Caledonia forage over warm, oligotrophic deep waters throughout their life cycle, and the species appears to have a flexible foraging strategy adapted to the various environmental conditions encountered across its wide tropical range.
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Weimerskirch Henri, de Grissac Sophie, Ravache Andreas, Prudor Aurelien, Corbeau Alexandre, Congdon Bradley C., McDuie Fiona, Bourgeois Karen, Dromzee Sylvain, Butscher John, Menkes Christophe, Allain Valerie, Vidal Eric, Jaeger Audrey, Borsa Philippe (2020). At-sea movements of wedge-tailed shearwaters during and outside the breeding season from four colonies in New Caledonia. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 633, 225-238. Publisher's official version : , Open Access version :