Satellite-tracking Argentinean Southern Giant Petrels

Three Argentinean marine ornithologists, led by Flavio Quintana, have recently published in the journal Marine Biology on the at-sea behaviour and marine habitat use of Southern Giant Petrels Macronectes giganteus breeding in Patagonia, Argentina by means of satellite telemetry.


They found that adult breeders showed a wide distribution over the Patagonian Shelf, using 74% of its surface.  The maximum distance travelled from the colonies was 683 km, but on average birds moved no more than 200 km away from their colony.  Important marine areas were located in the shelf break, middle shelf and coastal waters.  Areas of activity by sex overlapped between 35 and 94%.  Females foraged primarily away from the coast and males mainly in coastal areas.  Both sexes were capable of flying up to 4000 km but most of the foraging trips were of less than 200 km.  Their results emphasize the importance of the Patagonian Shelf as a foraging habitat for pelagic seabirds and contribute to international efforts to identify and protect a network of marine sites. [taken from the abstract].



Quintana, F., Dell'Arciprete, O.P. & Copello, S. 2010.  Foraging behavior and habitat use by the Southern Giant Petrel on the Patagonian Shelf.  Marine Biology 157: 515-525.


John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 28 April 2010

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