A project of Migration and foraging ecology of Greater Shearwater in conjunction with the partners and sponsors detailed below.
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Greater Shearwater (Puffinus gravis), seabird Procellariiforme, breed on Tristan da Cunha island group, remote islands midway between South Africa and South America. They complete an extensive transatlantic migration each year to reach the Northern hemisphere. They spend their wintering/staging period in productive waters such as Gulf of Maine, Georges and Grand Banks, Bay of Fundy, Greenland and Europe. While still abundant, the location of the entire world’s population on a single island group makes these birds susceptible to environmental changes.
We will be following 22 greater (or great) shearwaters equipped with Satellite tags from Gough island/ Inaccessible island (United Kingdom) to the Northern Atlantic from October 2009 to October 2010.
Our first objective is tracking pre-laying exodus and foraging trips during incubation/ rearing period; second objective: identifying migration paths and finally, understanding foraging movements of these birds over the Northwest Atlantic until molt period.
Greater shearwaters have been observed feeding over tuna school during ship surveys since they share same prey type; subsequently, we will overlay shearwater tracks and tunas distribution to search for evidence of spatial co-occurrence between these 2 top predators to evaluate the importance of this mutual association.
This project is a collaboration between Dr Rob Ronconi (University of Dalhousie/ Halifax/ Canada), Marie C Martin and Dr Richard R. Veit (College of Staten Island/ City University of New York/ USA) supported by US Wildlife Fisheries Service, as well as David and Lucile Packard Grant (Birdlife International / Agreement for Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels). Technical logistic and field work has been made possible with the support of Dr Peter Ryan, Dr Rob Ronconi,and Sirtrack Ltd.
For further information, please contact Marie C Martin
firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr Rob Ronconi: email@example.com