Dominic Rollinson (FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch, South Africa) and colleagues have published in the journal Antarctic Science on at-sea tracking of both breeding and non-breeding White-chinned Petrels Procellaria aequinoctialis.
The paper’s abstract follows:
“White-chinned petrels Procellaria aequinoctialis L. are the most frequently recorded procellariiform species in the bycatch of Southern Hemisphere longline fisheries. Our study investigated the year-round movements of ten adult white-chinned petrels (seven breeders, three non-breeders/suspected pre-breeders) from Marion Island tracked with global location sensor (GLS) loggers for three years. Additionally, 20 global positioning system (GPS) tracks were obtained from breeding white-chinned petrels during incubation (n=9) and chick-rearing (n=11). All GLS-tagged birds remained, year-round, in the area between southern Africa and Antarctica, not making any major east/west movements. Three core areas (50% kernels) were utilized: around the Prince Edward Islands (PEI; incubation and early chick-rearing), c. 1000 km west of PEI (pre-breeding and early incubation) and around South Africa (non-breeding birds). The only area where 50% utilization kernels overlapped with intensive longline fishing effort was off the Agulhas Bank (non-breeding season). Our results confirm the lack of foraging overlap between the two subspecies; nominate birds (South Georgia/south-western Indian Ocean) utilize separate areas to P. a. steadi (New Zealand/sub-Antarctic islands), and thus should be treated as separate management units. Knowledge of the year-round movements of a vagile species, such as the white-chinned petrel, is important for its continued conservation.”
White-chinned Petrels display, photograph by Ben Phalan
With thanks to Susan Mvungi, Niven Librarian, University of Cape Twon.
Rollinson, D.P. Dilley, B.J., Davies, D. & Ryan, P.G. 2018. Year-round movements of white-chinned petrels from Marion Island, south-western Indian Ocean. Antarctic Science doi.org/10.1017/S095410201800005.
John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 09 April 2018