Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

The camera is watching: annual cycle of Antarctic Southern Giant Petrels studied

Sasa Otovic (Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, Battery Point, Tasmania, Australia) and colleagues have published open access in the journal Marine Ornithology on Southern Giant Petrels Macronectes giganteus (Least Concern) observed by automated cameras.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“We report the first results from a 3-year study of the annual cycle of Southern Giant Petrels Macronectes giganteus in two colonies in East Antarctica. We tested the utility of a system of automated cameras that monitored and recorded events in the colonies year-round. Based on the collected images, we determined a detailed phenology of breeding events and activities throughout winter. The timing of some portions of the annual cycle (e.g., laying dates) were similar, whereas other aspects of the annual cycle differed between locations (e.g., pair formation and length of the non-brooding guard phase). Comparisons with other breeding locations throughout the species' range showed that lay dates vary with latitude but are synchronous at each site.”

A Southern Giant Petrel in East Antarctica, photograph by Jeroen Creuwels

Reference:

Otovic, S., Riley, M., Hay, I., McKinlay, J., Van Den Hoff, J. & Wienecke, B. 2018. The annual cycle of Southern Giant Petrels Macronectes giganteus in East Antarctica. Marine Ornithology 46: 129-138 + appendix.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 03 September 2018

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