Individual migratory schedules and wintering areas of northern gannets

Kubetzki, Ulrike, Garthe, Stefan, Fifield, D., Mendel, B. and Furness, R. W. (2009) Individual migratory schedules and wintering areas of northern gannets Marine Ecology Progress Series, 391 . pp. 257-265. DOI 10.3354/meps08254 .

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Individual migratory schedules and wintering areas of northern gannets Morus bassanus were studied over 2 consecutive winters by deploying geolocation data loggers on breeding adults from the Bass Rock, UK. Northern gannets attended the breeding colony on Bass Rock until between 24 September and 16 October (median: 5 October). Afterwards, individual birds engaged in different migratory behaviour. Of the 22 birds tracked until at least December, 18% wintered in the North Sea and the English Channel, 27% in the Bay of Biscay and the Celtic Sea, 9% in the Mediterranean Sea and 45% off West Africa. Individual winter home ranges as measured by the 75% kernel density contours varied between 8 100 and 308 500 km(2) (mean = 134 000 km(2)). Several northern gannets migrated northwards from Bass Rock after leaving the colony for a stay of a few days to a few weeks, independent of whether they migrated to Africa or other southern areas later. Birds wintering off West Africa migrated to their wintering areas mostly within 3 to 5 wk, usually starting between early and late October. Most of these birds stayed off West Africa for a period of about 3 mo, where they remained in a relatively restricted area. Return migration was initiated between the end of January and mid-February, and took about as long as autumn migration. We conclude that individual gannets display very variable migratory behaviours, with discrete winter home ranges, and we infer that the migration habits of gannets may be changing in response to human impacts on marine ecosystems.

Document Type: Article
Keywords: seabirdmigration; winter; geolocation; home range; fisheries; northwest africa; morus-bassanus; king penguins; sula-bassana; west-africa seabirds sea albatrosses fisheries geolocation
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB3 Marine Ecology > FB3-EV Evolutionary Ecology of Marine Fishes
OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.3354/meps08254
ISSN: 0171-8630
Projects: Future Ocean, DISCBIRD
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2011 12:14
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2018 09:47

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