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Sample records for albatross phoebastria immutabilis

  1. Early development and differentiation of the Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis (Rothschild, 1893): Procellariiformes).

    PubMed

    Rehorek, Susan J; Smith, Timothy D; Beeching, Simon C

    2016-09-01

    Bird incubation is subdivided into two phases: differentiation (embryonic phase) and growth (fetal phase). Most birds have a relatively short incubation period (20-30 days) with the phase transition occurring midway through the incubation period. The Laysan albatross (Phoebastris immutabilis) is a large pelagic bird with a long incubation period. The purpose of this study was to document the differentiation phase with the aim of ascertaining the impact of a lengthened incubation on embryonic development. Eighty-two previously collected albatross embryos were examined, measured, and staged. The albatross was found to develop more slowly than smaller birds, with a rate similar to other long-incubating birds. Legs and wings grow at similar rates but exhibit variation in growth among their anatomical components. While the albatross embryos shared some morphological stages with chickens, they were more similar to ducks and pelicans. Special features of the albatross not shared with the Gallianserae (chickens and ducks) included an alligator-like curved tail, narial tubes, and a cloacal bulge. Further examination of other larger pelagic birds with long incubation periods are needed to determine the uniqueness of the Laysan albatross embryonic development. Although much embryonic phase growth was documented in the postnatal period, little is known about the later, fetal phase in Laysan albatross. Future studies should involve examination of later (post day 32) fetuses. J. Morphol. 277:1231-1249, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27346871

  2. Ingested plastic as a route for trace metals in Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) and Bonin Petrel (Pterodroma hypoleuca) from Midway Atoll.

    PubMed

    Lavers, Jennifer L; Bond, Alexander L

    2016-09-15

    Seabirds are declining faster than any other group of birds, with plastic ingestion and associated contaminants linked to negative impacts on marine wildlife, including >170 seabird species. To provide quantitative data on the effects of plastic pollution, we sampled feathers and stomach contents from Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) and Bonin Petrel (Pterodroma hypoleuca) on Midway Atoll, North Pacific Ocean, and assessed our ability to detect change over time by synthesizing previous studies. Between 25 and 100% of fledglings exceed international targets for plastic ingestion by seabirds. High levels of ingested plastic were correlated with increased concentrations of chlorine, iron, lead, manganese, and rubidium in feathers. The frequency of plastic ingestion by Laysan Albatross and concentration of some elements in both species is increasing, suggesting deterioration in the health of the marine environment. Variability in the frequency of plastic ingestion by Laysan Albatross may limit their utility as an indicator species. PMID:27339745

  3. Incidence, mass and variety of plastics ingested by Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis) and Black-footed Albatrosses (P. nigripes) recovered as by-catch in the North Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Gray, Holly; Lattin, Gwendolyn L; Moore, Charles J

    2012-10-01

    Laysan Albatrosses (Phoebastria immutabilis) and Black-footed Albatrosses (P. nigripes) ingest plastic debris, as evidenced by studies showing plastic in the digestive contents of their chicks, but there is little documentation of the frequency and amount of ingested plastics carried in foraging adults. In this study, we quantify plastics among the digestive contents of 18 Laysan Albatrosses and 29 Black-footed Albatrosses collected as by-catch in the North Pacific Ocean. We found ingested plastic in 30 of the 47 birds examined, with Laysan Albatrosses exhibiting a greater frequency of plastic ingestion (83.3% n=18) than Black-footed Albatrosses (51.7% n=29) (X(2)=4.8, df=1, P=0.03). Though the mass of ingested plastic in both species (mean±SD=0.463g±1.447) was lower than previously noted among albatross chicks, the high frequency of ingested plastic we found in this study suggests that long-term effects, e.g. absorption of contaminants from plastics, may be of concern throughout the population. PMID:22954615

  4. Gastrointestinal Parasites in the Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) of Galápagos.

    PubMed

    Jiménez-Uzcátegui, Gustavo; Sarzosa, María Soledad; Encalada, Edison; Rodríguez-Hidalgo, Richar; Huyvaert, Kathryn P

    2015-07-01

    Using a fecal flotation technique, we detected three genera of endoparasites in the critically endangered Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) of Galápagos. These genera were Contracaecum, Tetrabothrius, and Cardiocephaloides. Juvenile albatrosses were more likely to be infected than adults, but we found no effect of sex or mass on infection probability. PMID:25919468

  5. Recoveries of banded Laysan albatrosses (Diomedea immutabilis) and black-footed albatrosses (D. nigripes)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, C.S.; Rice, D.W.

    1974-01-01

    Summarizes the seasonal distribution of pelagic recoveries of 324 banded Laysan Albatrosses and 399 banded Black-footed Albatrosses. Different age groups of each species concentrate in somewhat different areas, and, although range overlap between species is almost complete, each has its own distinctive seasonal distribution pattern.

  6. Necrotizing enteritis as a cause of mortality in Laysan albatross, Diomedea immutabilis, chicks on Midway Atoll, Hawaii

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Smith, M.R.; Duncan, R.

    1998-01-01

    A necropsy survey of Laysan albatross, Diomedea immutabilis, chicks on Midway Atoll in June 1993, 1994, and 1995 revealed 54% (21/39), 67% (49/71), and 93% (15/16), respectively, to have enteritis as the most severe pathologic finding. The lesion was limited to the ileum, ceca, and large intestine. We were unable to attribute a single infectious etiology to this lesion. Many birds with enteritis also exhibited renal lesions similar to those encountered in chickens experimentally deprived of water. We propose that enteritis is a significant cause of mortality in Laysan albatross chicks on Midway and that it may be a sequela to dehydration. It is likely that the pathology of dehydration in Laysan albatross differs from that in chickens largely because of diet.

  7. Contaminant-associated alteration of immune function in black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), a North Pacific predator.

    PubMed

    Finkelstein, Myra E; Grasman, Keith A; Croll, Donald A; Tershy, Bernie R; Keitt, Bradford S; Jarman, Walter M; Smith, Donald R

    2007-09-01

    Environmental pollution is ubiquitous and can pose a significant threat to wild populations through declines in fitness and population numbers. To elucidate the impact of marine pollution on a pelagic species, we assessed whether toxic contaminants accumulated in black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), a wide-ranging North Pacific predator, are correlated with altered physiological function. Blood samples from adult black-footed albatrosses on Midway Atoll, part of the Hawaiian (USA) archipelago, were analyzed for organochlorines (e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs] and chlorinated pesticides), trace metals (silver, cadmium, tin, lead, chromium, nickel, copper, zinc, arsenic, selenium, and total mercury), and a sensitive physiological marker, peripheral white blood cell immune function (mitogen-induced lymphocyte proliferation and macrophage phagocytosis). We found a positive significant relationship between organochlorines, which were highly correlated within individual birds (p < 0.001, r > 0.80, Spearman correlation for all comparisons; PCBs, 160 +/- 60 ng/ml plasma [mean +/- standard deviation]; DDTs, 140 +/- 180 ng/ml plasma; chlordanes, 7.0 +/- 3.6 ng/ml plasma; hexachlorobenzene, 2.4 +/- 1.5 ng/ml plasma; n = 15) and increased lymphocyte proliferation (p = 0.020) as well as percentage lymphocytes (p = 0.033). Mercury was elevated in black-footed albatrosses (4,500 +/- 870 ng/ml whole blood, n = 15), and high mercury levels appeared to be associated (p = 0.017) with impaired macrophage phagocytosis. The associations we documented between multiple contaminant concentrations and immune function in endangered black-footed albatrosses provide some of the first evidence that albatrosses in the North Pacific may be affected by environmental contamination. Our results raise concern regarding detrimental health effects in pelagic predators exposed to persistent marine pollutants. PMID:17702543

  8. The anatomy of a (potential) disaster: Volcanoes, behavior, and population viability of the short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Finkelstein, M.E.; Wolf, S.; Goldman, M.; Doak, D.F.; Sievert, P.R.; Balogh, G.; Hasegawa, H.

    2010-01-01

    Catastrophic events, either from natural (e.g., hurricane) or human-induced (e.g., forest clear-cut) processes, are a well-known threat to wild populations. However, our lack of knowledge about population-level effects of catastrophic events has inhibited the careful examination of how catastrophes affect population growth and persistence. For the critically endangered short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus), episodic volcanic eruptions are considered a serious catastrophic threat since approximately 80% of the global population of ???2500 birds (in 2006) currently breeds on an active volcano, Torishima Island. We evaluated how short-tailed albatross population persistence is affected by the catastrophic threat of a volcanic eruption relative to chronic threats. We also provide an example for overcoming the seemingly overwhelming problems created by modelling the population dynamics of a species with limited demographic data by incorporating uncertainty in our analysis. As such, we constructed a stochastic age-based matrix model that incorporated both catastrophic mortality due to volcanic eruptions and chronic mortality from several potential sources (e.g., contaminant exposure, fisheries bycatch) to determine the relative effects of these two types of threats on short-tailed albatross population growth and persistence. Modest increases (1%) in chronic (annual) mortality had a 2.5-fold greater effect on predicted short-tailed albatross stochastic population growth rate (lambda) than did the occurrence of periodic volcanic eruptions that follow historic eruption frequencies (annual probability of eruption 2.2%). Our work demonstrates that periodic catastrophic volcanic eruptions, despite their dramatic nature, are less likely to affect the population viability and recovery of short-tailed albatross than low-level chronic mortality. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd.

  9. Stable isotope analysis and satellite tracking reveal interspecific resource partitioning of nonbreeding albatrosses off Alaska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suryan, R.M.; Fischer, K.N.

    2010-01-01

    Albatrosses (Diomedeidae) are the most threatened family of birds globally. The three North Pacific species (Phoebastria Reichenbach, 1853) are listed as either endangered or vulnerable, with the population of Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus (Pallas, 1769)) less than 1% of its historical size. All North Pacific albatross species do not currently breed sympatrically, yet they do co-occur at-sea during the nonbreeding season. We incorporated stable isotope analysis with the first simultaneous satellite-tracking study of all three North Pacific albatross species while sympatric on summer (nonbreeding season) foraging grounds off Alaska. Carbon isotope ratios and tracking data identify differences in primary foraging domains of continental shelf and slope waters for Short-tailed Albatrosses and Black-footed Albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes (Audubon, 1839)) versus oceanic waters for Laysan Albatrosses (Phoebastria immutabilis (Roths-child, 1893)). Short-tailed and Black-footed albatrosses also fed at higher trophic levels than Laysan Albatrosses. The relative trophic position of Black-footed and Laysan albatrosses, however, appears to differ between nonbreeding and breeding seasons. Spatial segregation also occurred at a broader geographic scale, with Short-tailed Albatrosses ranging more north into the Bering Sea than Black-footed Albatrosses, which ranged more to the southeast, and Laysan Albatrosses more to the southwest. Differences in carbon isotope ratios among North Pacific albatross species during the nonbreeding season likely reflect the relative proportion of neritic (more carbon enriched) versus oceanic (carbon depleted) derived nutrients, and possible differential use of fishery discards, rather than latitudinal differences in distribution.

  10. Predictable hotspots and foraging habitat of the endangered short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) in the North Pacific: Implications for conservation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Piatt, J.F.; Wetzel, J.; Bell, K.; DeGange, A.R.; Balogh, G.R.; Drew, G.S.; Geernaert, T.; Ladd, C.; Byrd, G.V.

    2006-01-01

    The short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) is a rare and endangered seabird that ranges widely over the northern North Pacific. Populations are slowly recovering but birds face several threats at sea, in particular the incidental capture of birds in long-line fisheries. Conservation efforts are hampered by a lack of information about the at-sea distribution of this species, especially knowledge of where it may predictably co-occur with long-line fishing effort. During 18 years of transiting the Aleutian Islands Unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge on a research vessel, we observed short-tailed albatross on 65 occasions. They were consistently observed near Ingenstrem Rocks (Buldir Pass) in the western Aleutians and near Seguam Pass in the central Aleutians. Based on the oceanographic characteristics of the locations where we saw most of the birds, we hypothesized that short-tailed albatross “hotspots” were located where tidal currents and steep bottom topography generate strong vertical mixing along the Aleutian Archipelago. As a test of this hypothesis, we analyzed a database containing 1432 opportunistic observations of 2463 short-tailed albatross at sea in the North Pacific. These data showed that short-tailed albatross were closely associated with shelf-edge habitats throughout the northern Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. In addition to Ingenstrem Rocks and Seguam Pass, important hotspots for short-tailed albatross in the Aleutians included Near Strait, Samalga Pass, and the shelf-edge south of Umnak/Unalaska islands. In the Bering Sea, hotspots were located along margins of Zhemchug, St. Matthews and Pervenets canyons. Because these short-tailed albatross hotspots are predictable, they are also protectable by regulation of threatening activities at local spatial scales.

  11. Predictable hotspots and foraging habitat of the endangered short-tailed albatross ( Phoebastria albatrus) in the North Pacific: Implications for conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piatt, John F.; Wetzel, Jennifer; Bell, Kevin; DeGange, Anthony R.; Balogh, Gregory R.; Drew, Gary S.; Geernaert, Tracee; Ladd, Carol; Byrd, G. Vernon

    2006-02-01

    The short-tailed albatross ( Phoebastria albatrus) is a rare and endangered seabird that ranges widely over the northern North Pacific. Populations are slowly recovering but birds face several threats at sea, in particular the incidental capture of birds in long-line fisheries. Conservation efforts are hampered by a lack of information about the at-sea distribution of this species, especially knowledge of where it may predictably co-occur with long-line fishing effort. During 18 years of transiting the Aleutian Islands Unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge on a research vessel, we observed short-tailed albatross on 65 occasions. They were consistently observed near Ingenstrem Rocks (Buldir Pass) in the western Aleutians and near Seguam Pass in the central Aleutians. Based on the oceanographic characteristics of the locations where we saw most of the birds, we hypothesized that short-tailed albatross "hotspots" were located where tidal currents and steep bottom topography generate strong vertical mixing along the Aleutian Archipelago. As a test of this hypothesis, we analyzed a database containing 1432 opportunistic observations of 2463 short-tailed albatross at sea in the North Pacific. These data showed that short-tailed albatross were closely associated with shelf-edge habitats throughout the northern Gulf of Alaska and Bering Sea. In addition to Ingenstrem Rocks and Seguam Pass, important hotspots for short-tailed albatross in the Aleutians included Near Strait, Samalga Pass, and the shelf-edge south of Umnak/Unalaska islands. In the Bering Sea, hotspots were located along margins of Zhemchug, St. Matthews and Pervenets canyons. Because these short-tailed albatross hotspots are predictable, they are also protectable by regulation of threatening activities at local spatial scales.

  12. Development of a banding database for North Pacific albatross: Implications for future data collection

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Doherty, P.F., Jr.; Kendall, W.L.; Sillett, S.; Gustafson, M.; Flint, B.; Naughton, M.; Robbins, C.S.; Pyle, P.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of fishery practices on black-footed (Phoebastria nigripes) and Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) continue to be a source of contention and uncertainty. Some of this uncertainty is a result of a lack of estimates of albatross demographic parameters such as survival. To begin to address these informational needs, a database of albatross banding and encounter records was constructed. Due to uncertainty concerning data collection and validity of assumptions required for mark-recapture analyses, these data should be used with caution. Although demographic parameter estimates are of interest to many, band loss rates, temporary emigration rates, and discontinuous banding effort can confound these estimates. We suggest a number of improvements in data collection that can help ameliorate problems, including the use of double banding and collecting data using a `robust? design. Additionally, sustained banding and encounter efforts are needed to maximize the value of these data. With these modifications, the usefulness of the banding data could be improved markedly.

  13. Changes in the distribution and abundance of albatrosses in the eastern Bering Sea: 1975-2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuletz, Kathy J.; Renner, Martin; Labunski, Elizabeth A.; Hunt, George L.

    2014-11-01

    A number of marine species are showing poleward shifts in their distributions in response to climate warming. Three albatross species frequent the Bering Sea, the Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis), the black-footed (Phoebastria nigripes), and the endangered short-tailed albatross (Phoebastria albatrus). To determine if albatrosses changed their distribution or abundance in the eastern Bering Sea between 1975 and 2010, we examined at-sea survey data using the North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database. Within our study area, all three species of albatross occurred most frequently in the waters of the Aleutian Islands. In the eastern Bering Sea, all three species were most abundant near the shelf break, and in particular in the vicinity of the major submarine canyons in the shelf slope. Starting in the 1990s, population densities increased for all three albatross species, with a marked increase in the 2000s. In the 2000s, there was also an increase in the frequency at which albatrosses were recorded in the central and northern Bering Sea. Both black-footed and short-tailed albatrosses shifted the centers of their Bering Sea distributions northward. The Laysan albatross center of distribution shifted southward due to increased numbers along the southern shelf break, but densities also increased northward. We suggest that the observed changes in distribution and abundance of the three albatross species in the eastern Bering Sea may have been responses to an increase in the availability of squid, their primary prey, there. Additionally, the expansion of the distribution of the short-tailed albatross in the eastern Bering Sea may represent the reclamation of its previous range, now that the population is beginning to recover from near extinction caused by over harvesting. We suggest that predicted increases in ocean temperatures and northward movement of prey could result in albatrosses and other marine apex predators foraging farther north along the Bering Sea shelf and

  14. Rape and the prevalence of hybrids in broadly sympatric species: a case study using albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Rohwer, Sievert; Harris, Rebecca B; Walsh, Hollie E

    2014-01-01

    Conspecific rape often increases male reproductive success. However, the haste and aggression of forced copulations suggests that males may sometimes rape heterospecific females, thus making rape a likely, but undocumented, source of hybrids between broadly sympatric species. We present evidence that heterospecific rape may be the source of hybrids between Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes, and P. immutabilis, respectively). Extensive field studies have shown that paired (but not unpaired) males of both of these albatross species use rape as a supplemental reproductive strategy. Between species differences in size, timing of laying, and aggressiveness suggest that Black-footed Albatrosses should be more successful than Laysan Albatrosses in heteropspecific rape attempts, and male Black-footed Albatrosses have been observed attempting to force copulations on female Laysan Albatrosses. Nuclear markers showed that the six hybrids we studied were F1s and mitochondrial markers showed that male Black-footed Albatrosses sired all six hybrids. Long-term gene exchange between these species has been from Black-footed Albatrosses into Laysan Albatrosses, suggesting that the siring asymmetry found in our hybrids has long persisted. If hybrids are sired in heterospecific rapes, they presumably would be raised and sexually imprinted on Laysan Albatrosses, and two unmated hybrids in a previous study courted only Laysan Albatrosses. PMID:24949232

  15. Rape and the prevalence of hybrids in broadly sympatric species: a case study using albatrosses

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Rebecca B.; Walsh, Hollie E.

    2014-01-01

    Conspecific rape often increases male reproductive success. However, the haste and aggression of forced copulations suggests that males may sometimes rape heterospecific females, thus making rape a likely, but undocumented, source of hybrids between broadly sympatric species. We present evidence that heterospecific rape may be the source of hybrids between Black-footed and Laysan Albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes, and P. immutabilis, respectively). Extensive field studies have shown that paired (but not unpaired) males of both of these albatross species use rape as a supplemental reproductive strategy. Between species differences in size, timing of laying, and aggressiveness suggest that Black-footed Albatrosses should be more successful than Laysan Albatrosses in heteropspecific rape attempts, and male Black-footed Albatrosses have been observed attempting to force copulations on female Laysan Albatrosses. Nuclear markers showed that the six hybrids we studied were F1s and mitochondrial markers showed that male Black-footed Albatrosses sired all six hybrids. Long-term gene exchange between these species has been from Black-footed Albatrosses into Laysan Albatrosses, suggesting that the siring asymmetry found in our hybrids has long persisted. If hybrids are sired in heterospecific rapes, they presumably would be raised and sexually imprinted on Laysan Albatrosses, and two unmated hybrids in a previous study courted only Laysan Albatrosses. PMID:24949232

  16. Wind, waves, and wing loading: Morphological specialization may limit range expansion of endangered albatrosses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suryan, R.M.; Anderson, D.J.; Shaffer, S.A.; Roby, D.D.; Tremblay, Y.; Costa, D.P.; Sievert, P.R.; Sato, F.; Ozaki, K.; Balogh, G.R.; Nakamura, N.

    2008-01-01

    Among the varied adaptations for avian flight, the morphological traits allowing large-bodied albatrosses to capitalize on wind and wave energy for efficient long-distance flight are unparalleled. Consequently, the biogeographic distribution of most albatrosses is limited to the windiest oceanic regions on earth; however, exceptions exist. Species breeding in the North and Central Pacific Ocean (Phoebastria spp.) inhabit regions of lower wind speed and wave height than southern hemisphere genera, and have large intrageneric variation in body size and aerodynamic performance. Here, we test the hypothesis that regional wind and wave regimes explain observed differences in Phoebastria albatross morphology and we compare their aerodynamic performance to representatives from the other three genera of this globally distributed avian family. In the North and Central Pacific, two species (short-tailed P. albatrus and waved P. irrorata) are markedly larger, yet have the smallest breeding ranges near highly productive coastal upwelling systems. Short-tailed albatrosses, however, have 60% higher wing loading (weight per area of lift) compared to waved albatrosses. Indeed, calculated aerodynamic performance of waved albatrosses, the only tropical albatross species, is more similar to those of their smaller congeners (black-footed P. nigripes and Laysan P. immutabilis), which have relatively low wing loading and much larger foraging ranges that include central oceanic gyres of relatively low productivity. Globally, the aerodynamic performance of short-tailed and waved albatrosses are most anomalous for their body sizes, yet consistent with wind regimes within their breeding season foraging ranges. Our results are the first to integrate global wind and wave patterns with albatross aerodynamics, thereby identifying morphological specialization that may explain limited breeding ranges of two endangered albatross species. These results are further relevant to understanding past and

  17. Wind, Waves, and Wing Loading: Morphological Specialization May Limit Range Expansion of Endangered Albatrosses

    PubMed Central

    Suryan, Robert M.; Anderson, David J.; Shaffer, Scott A.; Roby, Daniel D.; Tremblay, Yann; Costa, Daniel P.; Sievert, Paul R.; Sato, Fumio; Ozaki, Kiyoaki; Balogh, Gregory R.; Nakamura, Noboru

    2008-01-01

    Among the varied adaptations for avian flight, the morphological traits allowing large-bodied albatrosses to capitalize on wind and wave energy for efficient long-distance flight are unparalleled. Consequently, the biogeographic distribution of most albatrosses is limited to the windiest oceanic regions on earth; however, exceptions exist. Species breeding in the North and Central Pacific Ocean (Phoebastria spp.) inhabit regions of lower wind speed and wave height than southern hemisphere genera, and have large intrageneric variation in body size and aerodynamic performance. Here, we test the hypothesis that regional wind and wave regimes explain observed differences in Phoebastria albatross morphology and we compare their aerodynamic performance to representatives from the other three genera of this globally distributed avian family. In the North and Central Pacific, two species (short-tailed P. albatrus and waved P. irrorata) are markedly larger, yet have the smallest breeding ranges near highly productive coastal upwelling systems. Short-tailed albatrosses, however, have 60% higher wing loading (weight per area of lift) compared to waved albatrosses. Indeed, calculated aerodynamic performance of waved albatrosses, the only tropical albatross species, is more similar to those of their smaller congeners (black-footed P. nigripes and Laysan P. immutabilis), which have relatively low wing loading and much larger foraging ranges that include central oceanic gyres of relatively low productivity. Globally, the aerodynamic performance of short-tailed and waved albatrosses are most anomalous for their body sizes, yet consistent with wind regimes within their breeding season foraging ranges. Our results are the first to integrate global wind and wave patterns with albatross aerodynamics, thereby identifying morphological specialization that may explain limited breeding ranges of two endangered albatross species. These results are further relevant to understanding past and

  18. Wind, waves, and wing loading: morphological specialization may limit range expansion of endangered albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Suryan, Robert M; Anderson, David J; Shaffer, Scott A; Roby, Daniel D; Tremblay, Yann; Costa, Daniel P; Sievert, Paul R; Sato, Fumio; Ozaki, Kiyoaki; Balogh, Gregory R; Nakamura, Noboru

    2008-01-01

    Among the varied adaptations for avian flight, the morphological traits allowing large-bodied albatrosses to capitalize on wind and wave energy for efficient long-distance flight are unparalleled. Consequently, the biogeographic distribution of most albatrosses is limited to the windiest oceanic regions on earth; however, exceptions exist. Species breeding in the North and Central Pacific Ocean (Phoebastria spp.) inhabit regions of lower wind speed and wave height than southern hemisphere genera, and have large intrageneric variation in body size and aerodynamic performance. Here, we test the hypothesis that regional wind and wave regimes explain observed differences in Phoebastria albatross morphology and we compare their aerodynamic performance to representatives from the other three genera of this globally distributed avian family. In the North and Central Pacific, two species (short-tailed P. albatrus and waved P. irrorata) are markedly larger, yet have the smallest breeding ranges near highly productive coastal upwelling systems. Short-tailed albatrosses, however, have 60% higher wing loading (weight per area of lift) compared to waved albatrosses. Indeed, calculated aerodynamic performance of waved albatrosses, the only tropical albatross species, is more similar to those of their smaller congeners (black-footed P. nigripes and Laysan P. immutabilis), which have relatively low wing loading and much larger foraging ranges that include central oceanic gyres of relatively low productivity. Globally, the aerodynamic performance of short-tailed and waved albatrosses are most anomalous for their body sizes, yet consistent with wind regimes within their breeding season foraging ranges. Our results are the first to integrate global wind and wave patterns with albatross aerodynamics, thereby identifying morphological specialization that may explain limited breeding ranges of two endangered albatross species. These results are further relevant to understanding past and

  19. Morphological and genomic comparisons of Hawaiian and Japanese Black-footed Albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes) using double digest RADseq: implications for conservation.

    PubMed

    Dierickx, Elisa G; Shultz, Allison J; Sato, Fumio; Hiraoka, Takashi; Edwards, Scott V

    2015-08-01

    Evaluating the genetic and demographic independence of populations of threatened species is important for determining appropriate conservation measures, but different technologies can yield different conclusions. Despite multiple studies, the taxonomic status and extent of gene flow between the main breeding populations of Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), a Near-Threatened philopatric seabird, are still controversial. Here, we employ double digest RADseq to quantify the extent of genomewide divergence and gene flow in this species. Our genomewide data set of 9760 loci containing 3455 single nucleotide polymorphisms yielded estimates of genetic diversity and gene flow that were generally robust across seven different filtering and sampling protocols and suggest a low level of genomic variation (θ per site = ∼0.00002-0.00028), with estimates of effective population size (N e = ∼500-15 881) falling far below current census size. Genetic differentiation was small but detectable between Japan and Hawaii (F ST ≈ 0.038-0.049), with no F ST outliers. Additionally, using museum specimens, we found that effect sizes of morphological differences by sex or population rarely exceeded 4%. These patterns suggest that the Hawaiian and Japanese populations exhibit small but significant differences and should be considered separate management units, although the evolutionary and adaptive consequences of this differentiation remain to be identified. PMID:26240604

  20. Morphological and genomic comparisons of Hawaiian and Japanese Black-footed Albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes) using double digest RADseq: implications for conservation

    PubMed Central

    Dierickx, Elisa G; Shultz, Allison J; Sato, Fumio; Hiraoka, Takashi; Edwards, Scott V

    2015-01-01

    Evaluating the genetic and demographic independence of populations of threatened species is important for determining appropriate conservation measures, but different technologies can yield different conclusions. Despite multiple studies, the taxonomic status and extent of gene flow between the main breeding populations of Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), a Near-Threatened philopatric seabird, are still controversial. Here, we employ double digest RADseq to quantify the extent of genomewide divergence and gene flow in this species. Our genomewide data set of 9760 loci containing 3455 single nucleotide polymorphisms yielded estimates of genetic diversity and gene flow that were generally robust across seven different filtering and sampling protocols and suggest a low level of genomic variation (θ per site = ∼0.00002–0.00028), with estimates of effective population size (Ne = ∼500–15 881) falling far below current census size. Genetic differentiation was small but detectable between Japan and Hawaii (FST ≈ 0.038–0.049), with no FST outliers. Additionally, using museum specimens, we found that effect sizes of morphological differences by sex or population rarely exceeded 4%. These patterns suggest that the Hawaiian and Japanese populations exhibit small but significant differences and should be considered separate management units, although the evolutionary and adaptive consequences of this differentiation remain to be identified. PMID:26240604

  1. Post-breeding season distribution of black-footed and Laysan albatrosses satellite-tagged in Alaska: Inter-specific differences in spatial overlap with North Pacific fisheries

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fischer, K.N.; Suryan, R.M.; Roby, D.D.; Balogh, G.R.

    2009-01-01

    We integrated satellite-tracking data from black-footed albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes; n = 7) and Laysan albatrosses captured in Alaska (Phoebastria immutabilis; n = 18) with data on fishing effort and distribution from commercial fisheries in the North Pacific in order to assess potential risk from bycatch. Albatrosses were satellite-tagged at-sea in the Central Aleutian Islands, Alaska, and tracked during the post-breeding season, July-October 2005 and 2006. In Alaskan waters, fishing effort occurred almost exclusively within continental shelf and slope waters. Potential fishery interaction for black-footed albatrosses, which most often frequented shelf-slope waters, was greatest with sablefish (Anoplopoma fimbria) longline and pot fisheries and with the Pacific halibut (Hippoglossus stenolepsis) longline fishery. In contrast, Laysan albatrosses spent as much time over oceanic waters beyond the continental shelf and slope, thereby overlapping less with fisheries in Alaska than black-footed albatrosses. Regionally, Laysan albatrosses had the greatest potential fishery interaction with the Atka mackerel (Pleurogrammus monopterygius) trawl fishery in the Western Aleutian Islands and the sablefish pot fishery in the Central Aleutian Islands. Black-footed albatrosses ranged further beyond Alaskan waters than Laysan albatrosses, overlapping west coast Canada fisheries and pelagic longline fisheries in the subarctic transition domain; Laysan albatrosses remained north of these pelagic fisheries. Due to inter-specific differences in oceanic distribution and habitat use, the overlap of fisheries with the post-breeding distribution of black-footed albatrosses is greater than that for Laysan albatrosses, highlighting inter-specific differences in potential vulnerability to bycatch and risk of population-level impacts from fisheries. ?? 2008 Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Legacy and contemporary persistent organic pollutants in North Pacific albatross.

    PubMed

    Harwani, Suhash; Henry, Robert W; Rhee, Alexandra; Kappes, Michelle A; Croll, Donald A; Petreas, Myrto; Park, June-Soo

    2011-11-01

    Here we report the first measurements of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE 47, 99, and 153) alongside 11 organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) and 28 polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in the plasma of albatross from breeding colonies distributed across a large spatial east-west gradient in the North Pacific Ocean. North Pacific albatross are wide-ranging, top-level consumers that forage in pelagic regions of the North Pacific Ocean, making them an ideal sentinel species for detection and distribution of marine contaminants. Our work on contaminant burdens in albatross tissue provides information on transport of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) to the remote North Pacific and serves as a proxy for regional environmental quality. We sampled black-footed (Phoebastria nigripes; n = 20) and Laysan albatross (P. immutabilis; n = 19) nesting on Tern Island, Hawaii, USA, and Laysan albatross (n = 16) nesting on Guadalupe Island, Mexico. Our results indicate that North Pacific albatross are highly exposed to both PCBs and OCPs, with levels ranging from 8.8 to 86.9 ng/ml wet weight and 7.4 to 162.3 ng/ml wet weight, respectively. A strong significant gradient exists between Laysan albatross breeding in the Eastern Pacific, having approximately 1.5-fold and 2.5-fold higher levels for PCBs and OCPs, respectively, compared to those from the Central Pacific. Interspecies levels of contaminants within the same breeding site also showed high variation, with Tern black-footed albatross having approximately threefold higher levels of both PCBs and OCPs than Tern Laysan albatross. Surprisingly, while PBDEs are known to travel long distances and bioaccumulate in wildlife of high trophic status, we detected these three PBDE congeners only at trace levels ranging from not detectable (ND) to 0.74 ng/ml wet weight in these albatross. PMID:21898564

  3. Hawaiian albatrosses track interannual variability of marine habitats in the North Pacific

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kappes, Michelle A.; Shaffer, Scott A.; Tremblay, Yann; Foley, David G.; Palacios, Daniel M.; Robinson, Patrick W.; Bograd, Steven J.; Costa, Daniel P.

    2010-07-01

    We studied the foraging behavior and marine habitats used by Laysan ( Phoebastria immutabilis) and Black-footed ( Phoebastria nigripes) Albatrosses, during four consecutive breeding seasons to investigate whether these marine predators changed habitat preferences, foraging distributions, or both, in accordance with natural interannual variability in the marine environment. We used satellite telemetry to track a total of 37 Laysan and 36 Black-footed Albatrosses during the incubation periods of 2002-2006 at Tern Island, Northwest Hawaiian Islands. First passage time analysis was used to determine search effort of individual albatrosses along their respective tracks, and this metric was then related to oceanographic habitat variables using linear mixed-effects regression. The majority of individuals traveled to pelagic waters of the North Pacific, with Laysan Albatrosses demonstrating a more northwesterly distribution from the breeding colony. Laysan Albatrosses traveled farther, for longer periods, and demonstrated greater interannual variability in trip characteristics than Black-footed Albatrosses. For Laysan Albatrosses, maximum trip distance was negatively correlated with body mass change during foraging and overall breeding success. There was considerable interspecific segregation of foraging habitats, and low overlap of foraging distributions between years. For all years, and both species, sea surface temperature was consistently the most important environmental variable predicting search effort of albatrosses, suggesting that both species use similar environmental cues when searching for prey. In the context of climate variability, our results suggest that Hawaiian albatrosses demonstrate flexibility in foraging strategies and track preferred marine habitats. However, adjusting foraging behavior to climatic variability may have energetic, and subsequent reproductive consequences.

  4. Next-generation sequencing workflow for assembly of nonmodel mitogenomes exemplified with North Pacific albatrosses (Phoebastria spp.).

    PubMed

    Lounsberry, Z T; Brown, S K; Collins, P W; Henry, R W; Newsome, S D; Sacks, B N

    2015-07-01

    Use of complete mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) can greatly increase the resolution achievable in phylogeographic and historical demographic studies. Using next-generation sequencing methods, it is now feasible to efficiently sequence mitogenomes of large numbers of individuals once a reference mitogenome is available. However, assembling the initial mitogenomes of nonmodel organisms can present challenges, for example, in birds, where mtDNA is often subject to gene rearrangements and duplications. We developed a workflow based on Illumina paired-end, whole-genome shotgun sequencing, which we used to generate complete 19-kilobase mitogenomes for each of three species of North Pacific albatross, a group of birds known to carry a tandem duplication. Although this duplication had been described previously, our procedure did not depend on this prior knowledge, nor did it require a closely related reference mitogenome (e.g. a mammalian mitogenome was sufficient). We employed an iterative process including de novo assembly, reference-guided assembly and gap closing, which enabled us to detect duplications, determine gene order and identify sequence for primer positioning to resolve any mitogenome ambiguity (via minimal targeted Sanger sequencing). We present full mtDNA annotations, including 22 tRNAs, 2 rRNAs, 13 protein-coding genes, a control region and a duplicated feature for all three species. Pairwise comparisons supported previous hypotheses regarding the phylogenetic relationships within this group and occurrence of a shared tandem duplication. The resulting mitogenome sequences will enable rapid, high-throughput NGS mitogenome sequencing of North Pacific albatrosses via direct reference-guided assembly. Moreover, our approach to assembling mitogenomes should be applicable to any taxon. PMID:25545584

  5. Albatross species demonstrate regional differences in North Pacific marine contamination

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Finkelstein, M.; Keitt, B.S.; Croll, D.A.; Tershy, B.; Jarman, Walter M.; Rodriguez-Pastor, S.; Anderson, D.J.; Sievert, P.R.; Smith, D.R.

    2006-01-01

    Recent concern about negative effects on human health from elevated organochlorine and mercury concentrations in marine foods has highlighted the need to understand temporal and spatial patterns of marine pollution. Seabirds, long-lived pelagic predators with wide foraging ranges, can be used as indicators of regional contaminant patterns across large temporal and spatial scales. Here we evaluate contaminant levels, carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios, and satellite telemetry data from two sympatrically breeding North Pacific albatross species to demonstrate that (1) organochlorine and mercury contaminant levels are significantly higher in the California Current compared to levels in the high-latitude North Pacific and (2) levels of organochlorine contaminants in the North Paci.c are increasing over time. Black-footed Albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes) had 370-460% higher organochlorine (polychlorinated biphenyls [PCBs], dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethanes [DDTs]) and mercury body burdens than a closely related species, the Laysan Albatross (P. immutabilis), primarily due to regional segregation of their North Pacific foraging areas. PCBs (the sum of the individual PCB congeners analyzed) and DDE concentrations in both albatross species were 130-360% higher than concentrations measured a decade ago. Our results demonstrate dramatically high and increasing contaminant concentrations in the eastern North Pacific Ocean, a finding relevant to other marine predators, including humans. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  6. Albatross as Sentinels of Heavy Metal Pollution: Local and Global Factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sentman, W.; Edwards, S. V.; Vo, A. E.; Bank, M. S.

    2012-12-01

    Heavy metal pollution in the Pacific Ocean has garnered significant attention in recent years, especially with regard to rising mercury emissions from Asia. Uncertainty exists over the extent to which mercury in biota may have resulted from increases in anthropogenic emissions over time. Albatrosses, including those inhabiting the North Pacific, are wide-ranging, long-lived, keystone, avian predators. Consequently, they serve as ideal sentinel species for investigating the effects of historical and contemporary pollution as well as local and global factors related to heavy metal bioaccumulation, exposure, and ecotoxicological risk. To date, high levels of mercury and lead have been documented in albatross species throughout the Pacific. To address biotic exposure to these multiple stressors, here we synthesize and conduct meta-analyses of total mercury, methylmercury, and lead exposure data in Black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) and Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis). Our approach uses data from the field and literature and for methyl mercury uses museum feathers spanning the past 130 years for Black-Footed albatross. We discuss the use and application of stable isotopes (δ15N and δ13C) as a way to control for temporal changes in trophic structure and diet and the importance of conducting speciation analyses, for mercury, to account for curator mediated inorganic mercury in older specimens. Our data showed higher levels of inorganic mercury in older specimens of Black-Footed albatross as well as two non-pelagic species (control samples) lacking historical sources of bioavailable mercury exposure, which suggests that studies on bioaccumulation should measure methylmercury rather than total mercury when utilizing museum collections. Additionally, at the local scale, previous research has reported that lead paint exposure from buildings was also an important environmental stressor for Laysan albatross, suggesting that albatross species face heavy

  7. Mosaic gene conversion after a tandem duplication of mtDNA sequence in Diomedeidae (albatrosses).

    PubMed

    Eda, Masaki; Kuro-o, Masaki; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi; Hasegawa, Hiroshi; Koike, Hiroko

    2010-04-01

    Although the tandem duplication of mitochondrial (mt) sequences, especially those of the control region (CR), has been detected in metazoan species, few studies have focused on the features of the duplicated sequence itself, such as the gene conversion rate, distribution patterns of the variation, and relative rates of evolution between the copies. To investigate the features of duplicated mt sequences, we partially sequenced the mt genome of 16 Phoebastria albatrosses belonging to three species (P. albatrus, P. nigripes, and P. immutabilis). More than 2,300 base pairs of tandemly-duplicated sequence were shared by all three species. The observed gene arrangement was shared in the three Phoebastria albatrosses and suggests that the duplication event occurred in the common ancestor of the three species. Most of the copies in each individual were identical or nearly identical, and were maintained through frequent gene conversions. By contrast, portions of CR domains I and III had different phylogenetic signals, suggesting that gene conversion had not occurred in those sections after the speciation of the three species. Several lines of data, including the heterogeneity of the rate of molecular evolution, nucleotide differences, and putative secondary structures, suggests that the two sequences in CR domain I are maintained through selection; however, additional studies into the mechanisms of gene conversion and mtDNA synthesis are required to confirm this hypothesis. PMID:20558899

  8. Perfluoroalkyl sulfonates and carboxylic acids in liver, muscle and adipose tissues of black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) from Midway Island, North Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Chu, Shaogang; Wang, Jun; Leong, Gladys; Woodward, Lee Ann; Letcher, Robert J; Li, Qing X

    2015-11-01

    The Great Pacific Garbage Patch (GPGP) is a gyre of marine plastic debris in the North Pacific Ocean, and nearby is Midway Atoll which is a focal point for ecological damage. This study investigated 13 C4-C16 perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs), four (C4, C6, C8 and C10) perfluorinated sulfonates and perfluoro-4-ethylcyclohexane sulfonate [collectively perfluoroalkyl acids (PFAAs)] in black-footed albatross tissues (collected in 2011) from Midway Atoll. Of the 18 PFCAs and PFSAs monitored, most were detectable in the liver, muscle and adipose tissues. The concentrations of PFCAs and PFSAs were higher than those in most seabirds from the arctic environment, but lower than those in most of fish-eating water birds collected in the U.S. mainland. The concentrations of the PFAAs in the albatross livers were 7-fold higher than those in Laysan albatross liver samples from the same location reported in 1994. The concentration ranges of PFOS were 22.91-70.48, 3.01-6.59 and 0.53-8.35 ng g(-1) wet weight (ww), respectively, in the liver, muscle and adipose. In the liver samples PFOS was dominant, followed by longer chain PFUdA (8.04-18.70 ng g(-1) ww), PFTrDA, and then PFNA, PFDA and PFDoA. Short chain PFBA, PFPeA, PFBS and PFODA were below limit of quantification. C8-C13 PFCAs showed much higher composition compared to those found in other wildlife where PFOS typically predominated. The concentrations of PFUdA in all 8 individual albatross muscle samples were even higher than those of PFOS. This phenomenon may be attributable to GPGP as a pollution source as well as PFAA physicochemical properties. PMID:26037817

  9. Use of indicator chemicals to characterize the plastic fragments ingested by Laysan albatross.

    PubMed

    Nilsen, Frances; Hyrenbach, K David; Fang, Jiasong; Jensen, Brenda

    2014-10-15

    Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) ingest plastic marine debris of a wide range of shape, sizes and sources. To better characterize this plastic and provide insights regarding its provenance and persistence in the environment, we developed a simple method to classify plastic fragments of unknown origin according to the resin codes used by the Society of Plastics Industry. Known plastics were analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) to identify indicator chemicals characteristic of each plastic resin. Application of this method to fragments of ingested plastic debris from boluses of Laysan albatross from Kure Atoll, Hawai'i, yielded proportions of 0.8% High Density Polyethylene, 6.8% Polystyrene, 8.5% Polyethylene Terephthalate, 20.5% Polyvinyl Chloride and 68.4% Polypropylene. Some fragments were composed of multiple resin types. These results suggest that infrequently recycled plastics are the dominant fragments ingested by albatross, and that these are the most prevalent and persistent resin types in the marine environment. PMID:25139302

  10. Status Assessment of Laysan and Black-Footed Albatrosses, North Pacific Ocean, 1923-2005

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arata, Javier A.; Sievert, Paul R.; Naughton, Maura B.

    2009-01-01

    Over the past century, Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis) and black-footed (Phoebastria nigripes) albatrosses have been subjected to high rates of mortality and disturbance at the breeding colonies and at sea. Populations were greatly reduced and many colonies were extirpated around the turn of the 20th century as a result of feather hunting. Populations were recovering when military occupation of several breeding islands during World War II led to new population declines at these islands and additional colony extirpations. At sea, thousands of Laysan and black-footed albatrosses were killed each year in high-seas driftnet fisheries, especially from 1978 until the fisheries were banned in 1992. Through the 1990s, there was a growing awareness of the large numbers of albatrosses that were being killed in longline fisheries. During the 1990s, other anthropogenic factors, such as predation by non-native mammals and exposure to contaminants, also were documented to reduce productivity or increase mortality. In response to the growing concerns over the impacts of these threats on albatross populations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contracted with the U.S. Geological Survey to conduct an assessment of Laysan and black-footed albatross populations. This assessment includes a review of the taxonomy, legal status, geographic distribution, natural history, habitat requirements, threats, and monitoring and management activities for these two species. The second part of the assessment is an analysis of population status and trends from 1923 to 2005. Laysan and black-footed albatrosses forage throughout the North Pacific Ocean and nest on tropical and sub-tropical oceanic islands from Mexico to Japan. As of 2005, 21 islands support breeding colonies of one or both species. The core breeding range is the Hawaiian Islands, where greater than 99 percent of the World's Laysan albatrosses and greater than 95 percent of the black-footed albatrosses nest on the small islands and

  11. Small range and distinct distribution in a satellite breeding colony of the critically endangered Waved Albatross

    EPA Science Inventory

    To determine the proximate consequences of the limited breeding distribution of the critically endangered Waved Albatross (Phoebastria irrorata), we present continuous breeding season GPS tracks highlighting differences in behaviour, destinations, and distances travelled between ...

  12. Foraging Strategies of Laysan Albatross Inferred from Stable Isotopes: Implications for Association with Fisheries.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Ann E; Fitzgerald, Shannon M; Parrish, Julia K; Klavitter, John L; Romano, Marc D

    2015-01-01

    Fatal entanglement in fishing gear is the leading cause of population decline for albatross globally, a consequence of attraction to bait and fishery discards of commercial fishing operations. We investigated foraging strategies of Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis), as inferred from nitrogen and carbon isotope values of primary feathers, to determine breeding-related, seasonal, and historic factors that may affect the likelihood of association with Alaskan or Hawaiian longline fisheries. Feather samples were collected from live birds monitored for breeding status and breeding success on Midway Atoll in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, birds salvaged as fisheries-bycatch, and birds added to museum collections before 1924. During the chick-rearing season (sampled April-May), means and variances of stable isotope values of birds with the highest, most consistent reproductive success were distinct from less productive conspecifics and completely different from birds caught in Hawaiian or Alaskan longline fisheries, suggesting birds with higher multi-annual reproductive success were less likely to associate with these fisheries. Contemporary birds with the highest reproductive success had mean values most similar to historic birds. Values of colony-bound, courting prebreeders were similar to active breeders but distinct from prebreeders caught in Alaskan longline fisheries. During the breeding season, δ15N values were highly variable for both contemporary and historic birds. Although some historic birds exhibited extremely low δ15N values unmatched by contemporary birds (< 11.2‰), others had values as high as the highest fishery-associated contemporary birds. During the non-breeding season (sampled July-September), isotopic variability coalesced into a more narrow set of values for both contemporary and historic birds. Our results suggest that foraging strategies of Laysan albatross are a complex function of season, breeding status, and multi

  13. Foraging Strategies of Laysan Albatross Inferred from Stable Isotopes: Implications for Association with Fisheries

    PubMed Central

    Edwards, Ann E.; Fitzgerald, Shannon M.; Parrish, Julia K.; Klavitter, John L.; Romano, Marc D.

    2015-01-01

    Fatal entanglement in fishing gear is the leading cause of population decline for albatross globally, a consequence of attraction to bait and fishery discards of commercial fishing operations. We investigated foraging strategies of Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis), as inferred from nitrogen and carbon isotope values of primary feathers, to determine breeding-related, seasonal, and historic factors that may affect the likelihood of association with Alaskan or Hawaiian longline fisheries. Feather samples were collected from live birds monitored for breeding status and breeding success on Midway Atoll in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands, birds salvaged as fisheries-bycatch, and birds added to museum collections before 1924. During the chick-rearing season (sampled April-May), means and variances of stable isotope values of birds with the highest, most consistent reproductive success were distinct from less productive conspecifics and completely different from birds caught in Hawaiian or Alaskan longline fisheries, suggesting birds with higher multi-annual reproductive success were less likely to associate with these fisheries. Contemporary birds with the highest reproductive success had mean values most similar to historic birds. Values of colony-bound, courting prebreeders were similar to active breeders but distinct from prebreeders caught in Alaskan longline fisheries. During the breeding season, δ15N values were highly variable for both contemporary and historic birds. Although some historic birds exhibited extremely low δ15N values unmatched by contemporary birds (< 11.2‰), others had values as high as the highest fishery-associated contemporary birds. During the non-breeding season (sampled July-September), isotopic variability coalesced into a more narrow set of values for both contemporary and historic birds. Our results suggest that foraging strategies of Laysan albatross are a complex function of season, breeding status, and multi

  14. Bringing Home the Trash: Do Colony-Based Differences in Foraging Distribution Lead to Increased Plastic Ingestion in Laysan Albatrosses?

    PubMed Central

    Young, Lindsay C.; Vanderlip, Cynthia; Duffy, David C.; Afanasyev, Vsevolod; Shaffer, Scott A.

    2009-01-01

    When searching for prey, animals should maximize energetic gain, while minimizing energy expenditure by altering their movements relative to prey availability. However, with increasing amounts of marine debris, what once may have been ‘optimal’ foraging strategies for top marine predators, are leading to sub-optimal diets comprised in large part of plastic. Indeed, the highly vagile Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) which forages throughout the North Pacific, are well known for their tendency to ingest plastic. Here we examine whether Laysan albatrosses nesting on Kure Atoll and Oahu Island, 2,150 km apart, experience different levels of plastic ingestion. Twenty two geolocators were deployed on breeding adults for up to two years. Regurgitated boluses of undigestable material were also collected from chicks at each site to compare the amount of plastic vs. natural foods. Chicks from Kure Atoll were fed almost ten times the amount of plastic compared to chicks from Oahu despite boluses from both colonies having similar amounts of natural food. Tracking data indicated that adults from either colony did not have core overlapping distributions during the early half of the breeding period and that adults from Kure had a greater overlap with the putative range of the Western Garbage Patch corroborating our observation of higher plastic loads at this colony. At-sea distributions also varied throughout the year suggesting that Laysan albatrosses either adjusted their foraging behavior according to constraints on time away from the nest or to variation in resources. However, in the non-breeding season, distributional overlap was greater indicating that the energy required to reach the foraging grounds was less important than the total energy available. These results demonstrate how a marine predator that is not dispersal limited alters its foraging strategy throughout the reproductive cycle to maximize energetic gain and how this has led to differences in

  15. Bringing home the trash: do colony-based differences in foraging distribution lead to increased plastic ingestion in Laysan albatrosses?

    PubMed

    Young, Lindsay C; Vanderlip, Cynthia; Duffy, David C; Afanasyev, Vsevolod; Shaffer, Scott A

    2009-01-01

    When searching for prey, animals should maximize energetic gain, while minimizing energy expenditure by altering their movements relative to prey availability. However, with increasing amounts of marine debris, what once may have been 'optimal' foraging strategies for top marine predators, are leading to sub-optimal diets comprised in large part of plastic. Indeed, the highly vagile Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) which forages throughout the North Pacific, are well known for their tendency to ingest plastic. Here we examine whether Laysan albatrosses nesting on Kure Atoll and Oahu Island, 2,150 km apart, experience different levels of plastic ingestion. Twenty two geolocators were deployed on breeding adults for up to two years. Regurgitated boluses of undigestable material were also collected from chicks at each site to compare the amount of plastic vs. natural foods. Chicks from Kure Atoll were fed almost ten times the amount of plastic compared to chicks from Oahu despite boluses from both colonies having similar amounts of natural food. Tracking data indicated that adults from either colony did not have core overlapping distributions during the early half of the breeding period and that adults from Kure had a greater overlap with the putative range of the Western Garbage Patch corroborating our observation of higher plastic loads at this colony. At-sea distributions also varied throughout the year suggesting that Laysan albatrosses either adjusted their foraging behavior according to constraints on time away from the nest or to variation in resources. However, in the non-breeding season, distributional overlap was greater indicating that the energy required to reach the foraging grounds was less important than the total energy available. These results demonstrate how a marine predator that is not dispersal limited alters its foraging strategy throughout the reproductive cycle to maximize energetic gain and how this has led to differences in plastic

  16. Extra-pair paternity in waved albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Huyvaert, K P; Anderson, D J; Jones, T C; Duan, W; Parker, P G

    2000-09-01

    We estimated the rate of extra-pair fertilizations (EPFs) in waved albatrosses (Phoebastria irrorata) on Isla Española, Galápagos, Ecuador, using multilocus minisatellite DNA fingerprinting. Waved albatrosses are socially monogamous, long-lived seabirds whose main population is on Española. Aggressive extra-pair copulation (EPC) attempts have been observed in the breeding colony during the days preceding egg-laying. Our genetic analyses of 16 families (single chicks and their attending parents) revealed evidence of EPFs in four families. In all cases males were the excluded parent. These data suggest that waved albatrosses have an unusually high rate of EPF relative to taxa with similar life histories. Future behavioural observations will determine the extent to which forced vs. unforced EPCs contribute to this high EPF rate. PMID:10972780

  17. New species of Apoloniinae (Acari: Trombiculidae) from the Laysan albatross taken in the Midway Islands and key to the species of Apoloniinae of the world

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Goff, M.L.; Sievert, P.R.; Sileo, L.

    1989-01-01

    Womersia midwayensis Goff, Sievert and Sileo is described as a new species from specimens taken off a Laysan albatross chick, Diomedea immutabilis (L.), collected on Sand Island, Midway Islands. A key to the genera and species of larval Apoloniinae of the world is given.

  18. Causes of mortality of albatross chicks at Midway Atoll

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sileo, L.; Sievert, P.R.; Samuel, M.D.

    1990-01-01

    As part of an investigation of the effect of plastic ingestion on seabirds in Hawaii, we necropsied the carcasses of 137 Laysan albatross (Diomedea immutabilis) chicks from Midway Atoll in the Pacific Ocean during the summer of 1987. Selected tissues were collected for microbiological, parasitological, toxicological or histopathological examinations. Dehydration was the most common cause of death. Lead poisoning, trauma, emaciation (starvation) and trombidiosis were other causes of death; nonfatal nocardiosis and avian pox also were present. There was no evidence that ingested plastic caused mechanical lesions or mortality in 1987, but most of the chicks had considerably less plastic in them than chicks from earlier years. Human activity (lead poisoning and vehicular trauma) caused mortality at Midway Atoll and represented additive mortality for pre-fledgling albatrosses.

  19. The effects of ingested plastic on growth and survival of albatross chicks

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sievert, Paul R.; Sileo, Louis

    1993-01-01

    We studied the effects of ingested plastic on the growth and survival of chicks of Laysan Albatrosses Diomedea immutabilis and Black-footed albatrosses D. nigripes on Midway Atoll during the nesting seasons of 1986 and 1987. Weights and proventricular contents of the chicks were determined periodically through the nesting cycle. Large (>22 cm1)volumes of plastic were present in the proventriculi of 27% of the Laysan and 16% of the Black-footed albatross chicks examined by endoscopy. Prior to fledging, albatross chicks regurgitated pellets composed of plastic and other indigestible material from their proventriculi. Laysan Albatross chicks with large volumes of proventricular plastic had asymptotic fledging weights significantly lower (122 g) than did chicks with low amounts of plastic. The effect of depresses fledging weights on postfledging survival was not determined. Plastic had no detectable effect on the growth of Black-footed Albatross chicks. All chicks that died were examined by necropsy. Mechanical lesions from ingested plastic were the cause of death of one of 45 Laysan Albatross chicks examined in 1986, but were not the cause of death of 93 individuals examined in 1987. Dehydration was the most common cause of death. In general, ingested plastic was not a significant direct cause of death in nestlings, but there was some evidence that it may have affected survival in 1986, when the volume of plastic ingested was highest.

  20. Paint chip poisoning of Laysan albatross at Midway Atoll (Pacific Ocean)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sileo, L.; Fefer, S.I.

    1987-01-01

    Epizootic mortality occurred in Laysan albatross (Diomedea immutabilis) fledgings at Midway Atoll in 1983. Heavy metal toxicity from ingestion of weathered paint chips was one of the causes. Sick albatrosses were unable to retract their wings, causing a 'droop-wing' appearance. Five normal and 12 droop-winged fledglings were captured, killed, and examined. Paint chips found in the proventriculus of the affected fledglings contained up to 144,000 ppm lead. Blood, liver, and kidney concentrations of lead in affected birds were higher than in normal fledglings, and acid-fast intranuclear inclusion bodies were present in the kidneys. Degenerative lesions were present in the myelin of some brachial nerves. Weathered paint samples collected from 12 buildings contained up to 247,250 ppm lead and 101 ppm mercury. Lead poisoning was diagnosed in 10 of the droop-winged albatrosses and was one of the causes of morbidity. Mercury toxicosis and plastic impaction were other possible causes.

  1. Lead exposure in Laysan albatross adults and chicks in Hawaii: prevalence, risk factors, and biochemical effects.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.; Smith, M.R.

    1996-01-01

    Prevalence of lead exposure and elevated tissue lead was determined in Laysan albatross (Diomedea immutabilis) in Hawaii. The relationship between lead exposure and proximity to buildings, between elevated blood lead and droopwing status, and elevated liver lead and presence of lead-containing paint chips in the proventriculus in albatross chicks was also examined. Finally, the effects of lead on the enzyme δ-amino-levulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) was determined. There was a significant association between lead exposure or elevated tissue lead and proximity to buildings in albatross chicks and presence of lead paint chips in the proventriculus and elevated liver lead in carcasses. Although there was a significant association between elevated blood lead and droopwing chicks, there were notable exceptions. Prevalence of elevated tissue lead in albatross chicks was highest on Sand Island Midway and much less so on Kauai and virtually nonexistent in other areas. Prevalence of lead exposure decreased as numbers of buildings to which chicks were exposed on a given island decreased. Laysan albatross adults had minimal to no lead exposure. There was a significant negative correlation between blood lead concentration and ALAD activity in chicks. Based on ALAD activity, 0.03-0.05 μg/ml was the no effect range for blood lead in albatross chicks.

  2. Dynamic Soaring: Aerodynamics for Albatrosses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Denny, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Albatrosses have evolved to soar and glide efficiently. By maximizing their lift-to-drag ratio "L/D", albatrosses can gain energy from the wind and can travel long distances with little effort. We simplify the difficult aerodynamic equations of motion by assuming that albatrosses maintain a constant "L/D". Analytic solutions to the simplified…

  3. Metals in albatross feathers from Midway Atoll: Influence of species, age, and nest location

    SciTech Connect

    Burger, J.; Gochfeld, M.

    2000-03-01

    In this paper the authors examine the concentrations of metals (heavy metals, mercury, lead, cadmium, chromium, manganese, tin; and metalloids, arsenic and selenium), in the down and contour (body) feathers of half-grown young albatrosses, and contour feathers of one of their parents. They collected feathers from Laysan Diomedea immutabilis and black-footed Diomedea nigripes albatrosses from Midway Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean. The authors test the null hypotheses that there is no difference in metal levels as a function of species, age, feather type, and location on the island. Using linear regression they found significant models accounting for the variation in the concentrations of mercury, lead, cadmium, selenium, chromium, and manganese (but not arsenic or tin) as a function of feather type (all metals), collection location (all metals but lead), species (selenium only), and interactions between these factors. Most metals (except mercury, arsenic, and tin) were significantly higher in down than in the contour feathers of either chicks or adults. Comparing the two species, black-footed albatross chicks had higher levels of most elements (except arsenic) in their feathers and/or down. Black-footed adults had significantly higher levels of mercury and selenium. They also collected down and feathers from Laysan albatross chicks whose nests were close to buildings, including buildings with flaking lead paint and those that had been lead-abated.

  4. Dynamic soaring: aerodynamics for albatrosses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Denny, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Albatrosses have evolved to soar and glide efficiently. By maximizing their lift-to-drag ratio L/D, albatrosses can gain energy from the wind and can travel long distances with little effort. We simplify the difficult aerodynamic equations of motion by assuming that albatrosses maintain a constant L/D. Analytic solutions to the simplified equations provide an instructive and appealing example of fixed-wing aerodynamics suitable for undergraduate demonstration.

  5. Hydroxylated and methylsulfonyl polychlorinated biphenyl metabolites in albatrosses from Midway Atoll, North Pacific Ocean

    SciTech Connect

    Klasson-Wehler, E.; Bergman, A.; Athanasiadou, M.

    1998-08-01

    Concentrations of hydroxylated metabolites of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) (OH-PCBs) and methylsulfonyl metabolites of PCBs (MeSO{sub 2}-PCBs) were determined in plasma and liver of albatrosses collected from the Midway Atoll in the central North Pacific Ocean. The mean total concentrations of OH-PCBs in plasma of Laysan albatrosses (Diomedea immutabilis) and black-footed albatrosses (Diomedea nigripes) were 11.5 and 27.1 ng/g wet weight, respectively. Total concentrations of OH-PCBs were only one- to fivefold less than those of total PCBs. 4-hydroxy-2,2{prime},3,4{prime},5,5{prime},6-heptachlorinated biphenyl and 4-hydroxy-2,2{prime},3,4{prime},5,5{prime}-hexachlorinated biphenyl were the predominant polychlorinated biphenylols, constituting 70 to 90% of the total OH-PCBs. Concentrations of MeSO{sub 2}-PCBs in liver were between 10.6 and 77 ng/g, lipid weight, approximately 250 times less than those of total PCBs. The MeSO{sub 2}-PCBs congeners retained in the liver were dominated by those having the methylsulfonyl group in the 3-position.

  6. Total PCBs, TCDD-EQs in eggs: Reproductive hazards to north Pacific albatrosses

    SciTech Connect

    Ludwig, J.P.; Auman, H.J.; Summer, C.L.; Giesy, J.P.; Sanderson, J.T.; DeDoes, J.M.; Verbrugge, D.A.; Jones, P.

    1995-12-31

    Freshly laid eggs of Laysan and black-footed Albatrosses (Diomedea immutabilis and D. nigripes) were collected at Midway Atoll 1992 through 1994 and subsequently analyzed for chlorinated contaminants including OC pesticides, PCBs, dioxins and furans. TCDD-EQs in eggs were calculated from congener-specific data. Total PCBs ranged from 1.1 to 3.8 mglkg ww. Calculated TCDD-EQs ranged from 52--124 pg/g. A substantial portion (30--35%) of the TCDD-EQs in eggs were owing to dioxins and furans, and the balance to PCBs. PCBs in albatross eggs were much less potent than PCBs from waterbirds` eggs of the Great Lakes and other continental inland waters. Hazard indices based on calculated TCDD-EQs suggested that Laysan eggs were at the LOAEL for embryonic effects, but black-footed eggs were well above avian LOAELS. Egg death during natural incubation was 2--3% greater in black-footed than Laysan nests, and 5% fewer black-footed albatross chicks were fledged in 1994. A low incidence of deformities in hatchlings was noted in 1994 and 1995. Crossed-bill hatchlings were not reported in these populations until the late 1970s in spite of intensive studies 1957--1972, but occurred at rates of 1 in 14,000 hatchlings, and 1 in 300 dead eggs 1993--1995. Reproductive effects owing to contaminant exposures in these most pelagic seabirds are confirmed.

  7. Quantifying the impact of longline fisheries on adult survival in the black-footed albatross

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Veran, S.; Gimenez, O.; Flint, E.; Kendall, W.L.; Doherty, P.F., Jr.; Lebreton, J.D.

    2007-01-01

    1. Industrial longline fishing has been suspected to impact upon black-footed albatross populations Phoebastria nigripes by increasing mortality, but no precise estimates of bycatch mortality are available to ascertain this statement. We present a general framework for quantifying the relationship between albatross population and longline fishing in absence of reliable estimates of bycatch rate. 2. We analysed capture?recapture data of a population of black-footed albatross to obtain estimates of survival probability for this population using several alternative models to adequately take into account heterogeneity in the recapture process. Instead of trying to estimate the number of birds killed by using various extrapolations and unchecked assumptions, we investigate the potential relationship between annual adult survival and several measures of fishing effort. Although we considered a large number of covariates, we used principal component analysis to generate a few uncorrelated synthetic variables from the set and thus we maintained both power and robustness. 3. The average survival for 1997?2002 was 92%, a low value compared to estimates available for other albatross species. We found that one of the synthetic variables used to summarize industrial longline fishing significantly explained more than 40% of the variation in adult survival over 11 years, suggesting an impact by longline fishing on albatross? survival. 4. Our analysis provides some evidence of non-linear variation in survival with fishing effort. This could indicate that below a certain level of fishing effort, deaths due to incidental catch can be partially or totally compensated for by a decrease in natural mortality. Another possible explanation is the existence of a strong interspecific competition for accessing the baits, reducing the risk of being accidentally hooked. 5. Synthesis and applications. The suspicion of a significant impact of longline fishing on the black-footed albatross

  8. Testing the Gossamer Albatross II

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The Gossamer Albatross II is seen here during a test flight at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. The original Gossamer Albatross is best known for completing the first completely human powered flight across the English Channel on June 12, 1979. The Albatross II was the backup craft for the Channel flight. It was fitted with a small battery-powered electric motor and flight instruments for the NASA research program in low-speed flight. NASA completed its flight testing of the Gossamer Albatross II and began analysis of the results in April, 1980. During the six week program, 17 actual data gathering flights and 10 other flights were flown here as part of the joint NASA Langley/Dryden flight research program. The lightweight craft, carrying a miniaturized instrumentation system, was flown in three configurations; using human power, with a small electric motor, and towed with the propeller removed. Results from the program contributed to data on the unusual aerodynamic, performance, stability, and control characteristics of large, lightweight aircraft that fly at slow speeds for application to future high altitude aircraft. The Albatross' design and research data contributed to numerous later high altitude projects, including the Pathfinder.

  9. Assembling the Gossamer Albatross II in hangar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    The Gossamer Albatross II is seen here being assembled in a hangar at the Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, California. The original Gossamer Albatross is best known for completing the first completely human powered flight across the English Channel on June 12, 1979. The Albatross II was the backup craft for the Channel flight. The aircraft was fitted with a small battery-powered electric motor and flight instruments for the NASA research program in low-speed flight. NASA completed its flight testing of the Gossamer Albatross II and began analysis of the results in April, 1980. During the six week program, 17 actual data gathering flights and 10 other flights were flown here as part of the joint NASA Langley/Dryden flight research program. The lightweight craft, carrying a miniaturized instrumentation system, was flown in three configurations; using human power, with a small electric motor, and towed with the propeller removed. Results from the program contributed to data on the unusual aerodynamic, performance, stability, and control characteristics of large, lightweight aircraft that fly at slow speeds for application to future high altitude aircraft. The Albatross' design and research data contributed to numerous later high altitude projects, including the Pathfinder.

  10. Albatrosses as Ocean Samplers of Sea Surface Temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaffer, S. A.; Kappes, M.; Tremblay, Y.; Costa, D. P.; Weber, R.; Weimerskirch, H.

    2006-12-01

    Albatrosses are unique ocean voyagers because they range so widely and travel at speeds exceeding 90 km per hour. Because they can integrate vast areas of open-ocean, albatrosses are ideal ocean samplers. Between 2003 and 2005 breeding seasons, 21 Laysan and 15 black-footed albatrosses (body mass 2.5 to 3.5 kg) were equipped with 6 g leg-mounted geolocation archival data loggers at Tern Island, French Frigate Shoals, Northwest Hawaiian Islands. The tags sampled environmental temperatures every 480 or 540 s and provided a single location per day for the duration of deployment. Whenever an albatross landed on the sea surface to feed or rest, the tag sampled sea surface temperature (SST). After nearly one year of deployment, 31 albatrosses were recaptured and 29 tags provided complete records. A total of 377,455 SST readings were obtained over 7,360 bird-days at sea. Given the location errors in the geolocation methodology (200 km) and the lack of temporal resolution (1 location per day), the SST measurements can only be used to characterize broad-scale correlates between albatross distribution and the ocean environment. However, in February 2006, we deployed 45 g GPS data loggers on 10 breeding albatrosses for 2-4 day deployments. The GPS loggers were attached to feathers on the albatrosses backs, they sampled every 10 s, and were accurate to within 10 m. One albatross was also equipped with the same leg-mounted archival tag that sampled SST every 8 s. This albatross collected 6,289 SST measurements with complementary GPS quality locations in 3 days at sea. These results highlight the efficacy of albatrosses as ocean samplers. Given that Laysan and black- footed albatrosses range throughout the North Pacific Ocean, it is conceivable that these seabirds could someday become sentinels of changing oceanic conditions. Moreover, these technologies provide exciting new information about the oceanic habitats of North Pacific albatrosses.

  11. Placing Local Aggregations in a Larger-Scale Context: Hierarchical Modeling of Black-Footed Albatross Dispersion

    PubMed Central

    Jahncke, J.; Hyrenbach, K. D.

    2016-01-01

    At-sea surveys facilitate the study of the distribution and abundance of marine birds along standardized transects, in relation to changes in the local environmental conditions and large-scale oceanographic forcing. We analyzed the form and the intensity of black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes: BFAL) spatial dispersion off central California, using five years (2004–2008) of vessel-based surveys of seven replicated survey lines. We related BFAL patchiness to local, regional and basin-wide oceanographic variability using two complementary approaches: a hypothesis-based model and an exploratory analysis. The former tested the strength and sign of hypothesized BFAL responses to environmental variability, within a hierarchical atmosphere—ocean context. The latter explored BFAL cross-correlations with atmospheric / oceanographic variables. While albatross dispersion was not significantly explained by the hierarchical model, the exploratory analysis revealed that aggregations were influenced by static (latitude, depth) and dynamic (wind speed, upwelling) environmental variables. Moreover, the largest BFAL patches occurred along the survey lines with the highest densities, and in association with shallow banks. In turn, the highest BFAL densities occurred during periods of negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation index values and low atmospheric pressure. The exploratory analyses suggest that BFAL dispersion is influenced by basin-wide, regional-scale and local environmental variability. Furthermore, the hypothesis-based model highlights that BFAL do not respond to oceanographic variability in a hierarchical fashion. Instead, their distributions shift more strongly in response to large-scale ocean—atmosphere forcing. Thus, interpreting local changes in BFAL abundance and dispersion requires considering diverse environmental forcing operating at multiple scales. PMID:27124491

  12. Placing Local Aggregations in a Larger-Scale Context: Hierarchical Modeling of Black-Footed Albatross Dispersion.

    PubMed

    Michael, P E; Jahncke, J; Hyrenbach, K D

    2016-01-01

    At-sea surveys facilitate the study of the distribution and abundance of marine birds along standardized transects, in relation to changes in the local environmental conditions and large-scale oceanographic forcing. We analyzed the form and the intensity of black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes: BFAL) spatial dispersion off central California, using five years (2004-2008) of vessel-based surveys of seven replicated survey lines. We related BFAL patchiness to local, regional and basin-wide oceanographic variability using two complementary approaches: a hypothesis-based model and an exploratory analysis. The former tested the strength and sign of hypothesized BFAL responses to environmental variability, within a hierarchical atmosphere-ocean context. The latter explored BFAL cross-correlations with atmospheric / oceanographic variables. While albatross dispersion was not significantly explained by the hierarchical model, the exploratory analysis revealed that aggregations were influenced by static (latitude, depth) and dynamic (wind speed, upwelling) environmental variables. Moreover, the largest BFAL patches occurred along the survey lines with the highest densities, and in association with shallow banks. In turn, the highest BFAL densities occurred during periods of negative Pacific Decadal Oscillation index values and low atmospheric pressure. The exploratory analyses suggest that BFAL dispersion is influenced by basin-wide, regional-scale and local environmental variability. Furthermore, the hypothesis-based model highlights that BFAL do not respond to oceanographic variability in a hierarchical fashion. Instead, their distributions shift more strongly in response to large-scale ocean-atmosphere forcing. Thus, interpreting local changes in BFAL abundance and dispersion requires considering diverse environmental forcing operating at multiple scales. PMID:27124491

  13. Dynamic habitat models: using telemetry data to project fisheries bycatch.

    PubMed

    Zydelis, Ramūnas; Lewison, Rebecca L; Shaffer, Scott A; Moore, Jeffrey E; Boustany, Andre M; Roberts, Jason J; Sims, Michelle; Dunn, Daniel C; Best, Benjamin D; Tremblay, Yann; Kappes, Michelle A; Halpin, Patrick N; Costa, Daniel P; Crowder, Larry B

    2011-11-01

    Fisheries bycatch is a recognized threat to marine megafauna. Addressing bycatch of pelagic species however is challenging owing to the dynamic nature of marine environments and vagility of these organisms. In order to assess the potential for species to overlap with fisheries, we propose applying dynamic habitat models to determine relative probabilities of species occurrence for specific oceanographic conditions. We demonstrate this approach by modelling habitats for Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis) and black-footed albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes) using telemetry data and relating their occurrence probabilities to observations of Hawaii-based longline fisheries in 1997-2000. We found that modelled habitat preference probabilities of black-footed albatrosses were high within some areas of the fishing range of the Hawaiian fleet and such preferences were important in explaining bycatch occurrence. Conversely, modelled habitats of Laysan albatrosses overlapped little with Hawaii-based longline fisheries and did little to explain the bycatch of this species. Estimated patterns of albatross habitat overlap with the Hawaiian fleet corresponded to bycatch observations: black-footed albatrosses were more frequently caught in this fishery despite being 10 times less abundant than Laysan albatrosses. This case study demonstrates that dynamic habitat models based on telemetry data may help to project interactions with pelagic animals relative to environmental features and that such an approach can serve as a tool to guide conservation and management decisions. PMID:21429921

  14. Upwind dynamic soaring of albatrosses and UAVs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, Philip L.

    2015-01-01

    Albatrosses have been observed to soar in an upwind direction using what is called here an upwind mode of dynamic soaring. The upwind mode was modeled using the dynamics of a two-layer Rayleigh cycle in which the lower layer has zero velocity and the upper layer has a uniform wind speed of W. The upwind mode consists of a climb across the wind-shear layer headed upwind, a 90° turn and descent across the wind-shear layer perpendicular to the wind, followed by a 90° turn into the wind. The increase of airspeed gained from crossing the wind-shear layer headed upwind was balanced by the decrease of airspeed caused by drag. Results show that a wandering albatross can soar over the ocean in an upwind direction at a mean speed of 8.4 m/s in a 3.6 m/s wind, which is the minimum wind speed necessary for sustained dynamic soaring. A main result is that albatrosses can soar upwind much faster than the wind speed. Furthermore, albatrosses were found to be able to increase upwind speeds in winds greater than 3.6 m/s, reaching an upwind speed of 12.1 m/s in a wind speed of 7 m/s (for example). The upwind dynamic soaring mode of a possible robotic albatross UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) was modeled using a Rayleigh cycle and characteristics of a high-performance glider. Maximum possible airspeeds are equal to approximately 9.5 times the wind speed of the upper layer. In a wind of 10 m/s, the maximum possible upwind (56 m/s) and across-wind (61 m/s) components of UAV velocity over the ocean result in a diagonal upwind velocity of 83 m/s. In sufficient wind, a UAV could, in principle, use fast diagonal speeds to rapidly survey large areas of the ocean surface and the marine boundary layer. In practice, the maximum speeds of a UAV soaring over the ocean could be significantly less than these predictions. Some limitations to achieving fast travel velocities over the ocean are discussed and suggestions are made for further studies to test the concept of a robotic albatross.

  15. Recounting the History of the Albatross Award

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knauss, John; Lill, Gordon; Maxwell, Arthur

    The origin of the Albatross Award can be traced directly to a dinner party in early 1959 at the home of Gordon and Mildred Lill in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. Guests were Arthur Maxwell and his wife and John Knauss. Lill and Maxwell worked at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Knauss was visiting from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in LaJolla, California. During the evening the subject of the lack of awards and prizes for oceanographers arose. The three decided that perhaps this was a situation that could be remedied by the American Miscellaneous Society (AMSOC).

  16. Hepatic CYP1A induction by chlorinated dioxins and related compounds in the endangered black-footed albatross from the North Pacific.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Akira; Watanabe, Mafumi; Kunisue, Tatsuya; Kim, Eun-Young; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Iwata, Hisato

    2010-05-01

    The present study assesses effects of dioxins and related compounds (DRCs) including polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (DL-PCBs) on cytochrome P450 1A (CYP1A) expression level in liver of black-footed albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes) collected from the North Pacific. Total 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (2,3,7,8-T(4)CDD) toxic equivalents (TEQs) derived from toxic equivalency factor for birds proposed by World Health Organization were in the range of 2100 to 10 000 pg/g lipid wt (120-570 pg/g wet wt). Simultaneously, microsomal alkoxyresorufin O-dealkylase (AROD) activities, including methoxy-, ethoxy-, pentoxy-, and benzyloxy-resorufin O-dealkylase activities were also measured in the same specimens. Total TEQs and TEQ (on wet wt basis) from some individual DRC congeners had significant positive correlations with AROD activities, suggesting induction of CYP1A by DRCs. Congeners like 2,3,7,8-T(4)CDD and most of the DL-PCBs that showed no significant positive correlations between the concentrations and AROD activities, exhibited significant negative correlations between AROD activities and the concentration ratio of the congener to a recalcitrant CB169, suggesting preferential metabolism of these congeners by induced CYP1A. As far as we know, this is the first direct evidence revealing that hepatic CYP1A level is elevated with the accumulation of DRCs in the wild black-footed albatross population. The present study gives more robust estimate of impacts of DRCs on CYP1A induction in this rare pelagic species than indexes like hazard quotient and TEQ-threshold comparison that have been so far carried out. PMID:20387876

  17. Experimental verification of dynamic soaring in albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Sachs, G; Traugott, J; Nesterova, A P; Bonadonna, F

    2013-11-15

    Dynamic soaring is a small-scale flight manoeuvre which is the basis for the extreme flight performance of albatrosses and other large seabirds to travel huge distances in sustained non-flapping flight. As experimental data with sufficient resolution of these small-scale movements are not available, knowledge is lacking about dynamic soaring and the physical mechanism of the energy gain of the bird from the wind. With new in-house developments of GPS logging units for recording raw phase observations and of a dedicated mathematical method for postprocessing these measurements, it was possible to determine the small-scale flight manoeuvre with the required high precision. Experimental results from tracking 16 wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) in the southern Indian Ocean show the characteristic pattern of dynamic soaring. This pattern consists of four flight phases comprising a windward climb, an upper curve, a leeward descent and a lower curve, which are continually repeated. It is shown that the primary energy gain from the shear wind is attained in the upper curve where the bird changes the flight direction from windward to leeward. As a result, the upper curve is the characteristic flight phase of dynamic soaring for achieving the energy gain necessary for sustained non-flapping flight. PMID:24172888

  18. Albatross Long-Distance Navigation: Comparing Adults And Juveniles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Åkesson, Susanne; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2005-09-01

    Albatrosses are known for their extreme navigation performance enabling them to locate isolated breeding islands after long-distance migrations across open seas. Little is known about the migration of young albatrosses and how they reach the adults' navigation and foraging skills during the period of immaturity lasting several years and spent permanently flying across the open ocean. We tracked by satellite telemetry the dispersal and migration of 13 juvenile wandering albatrosses from the Crozet Islands during their first year at sea. The young albatrosses covered an average distance of 184,000 km during the first year, restricting their dispersal movement to the unproductive and low wind subtropical Indian Ocean and Tasman Sea. The juveniles initiated the migration by an innate phase of rapid dispersal encoded as a fixed flight direction assisted by southerly winds towards north and northeast. Thereafter each individual restricted its movement to a particular zone of the ocean that will possibly be used until they start breeding 7 10 years later and return in contact with breeding adults. This dispersal in young birds corresponds well with movements observed for adult non-breeding wandering albatrosses. The results show clearly an inherited ability to navigate back to already visited areas in young wandering albatrosses. The juvenile dispersal behaviour and migration at sea suggest a genetically based migration program, encoding navigation to a destination area used throughout the life.

  19. Foraging destinations and marine habitat use of short-tailed albatrosses: A multi-scale approach using first-passage time analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suryan, Robert M.; Sato, Fumio; Balogh, Gregory R.; David Hyrenbach, K.; Sievert, Paul R.; Ozaki, Kiyoaki

    2006-02-01

    We used satellite telemetry, remotely sensed data (bathymetry, chlorophyll a (chl a), sea-surface temperature (SST), wind speed) and first-passage time (FPT) analysis to determine the distribution, movement patterns, and habitat associations of short-tailed albatrosses ( Phoebastria albatrus) during the non-breeding season, 2002 and 2003. Satellite transmitters were deployed on birds immediately prior to their departure from a breeding colony at Torishima, Japan ( n=11), or at-sea in the Aleutian Islands ( n=3). Tracking durations ranged from 51 to 138 days for a total of 6709 locations after filtering (131 - 808 per bird). FPT (time required to transit a circle of given radius) revealed the location and spatial scale of area-restricted search (ARS) patterns along flight paths. On average, ARS occurred within 70 km radii. Consequently, the fit of the habitat use models increased at spatial scales beyond a 40 km FPT radius ( R2=0.31) and stabilized for scales of 70 km and larger ( R2=0.40- 0.51). At all scales, wind speed, depth or depth gradient, and chl a or chl a gradient had a significant effect on FPT (i.e., residence time). FPT increased within regions of higher gradients of depth and chl a. In contrast, FPT decreased within regions of greater depth and wind speed, with a significant interaction of wind speed and depth at some scales. Sea-surface temperature or its interactions were only significant at large spatial scales (⩾160 km FPT radius). Albatrosses engaged in ARS activities primarily over the shelf break and slope, including Kuroshio and Oyashio regions off the western subarctic gyre. Occasionally, birds transited the northern boundary of the Kuroshio Extension while in-route to the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea, but overall spent little time in the western gyre. In the Aleutian Islands, ARS occurred within straits, particularly along the central and western part of the archipelago. In the Bering Sea, ARS occurred along the northern continental

  20. Foraging destinations and marine habitat use of short-tailed albatrosses: A multi-scale approach using first-passage time analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Suryan, R.M.; Sato, F.; Balogh, G.R.; David, Hyrenbach K.; Sievert, P.R.; Ozaki, K.

    2006-01-01

    We used satellite telemetry, remotely sensed data (bathymetry, chlorophyll a (chl a), sea-surface temperature (SST), wind speed) and first-passage time (FPT) analysis to determine the distribution, movement patterns, and habitat associations of short-tailed albatrosses (Phoebastria albatrus) during the non-breeding season, 2002 and 2003. Satellite transmitters were deployed on birds immediately prior to their departure from a breeding colony at Torishima, Japan (n = 11), or at-sea in the Aleutian Islands (n = 3). Tracking durations ranged from 51 to 138 days for a total of 6709 locations after filtering (131 - 808 per bird). FPT (time required to transit a circle of given radius) revealed the location and spatial scale of area-restricted search (ARS) patterns along flight paths. On average, ARS occurred within 70 km radii. Consequently, the fit of the habitat use models increased at spatial scales beyond a 40 km FPT radius (R2 = 0.31) and stabilized for scales of 70 km and larger (R2=0.40- 0.51). At all scales, wind speed, depth or depth gradient, and chl a or chl a gradient had a significant effect on FPT (i.e., residence time). FPT increased within regions of higher gradients of depth and chl a. In contrast, FPT decreased within regions of greater depth and wind speed, with a significant interaction of wind speed and depth at some scales. Sea-surface temperature or its interactions were only significant at large spatial scales (???160 km FPT radius). Albatrosses engaged in ARS activities primarily over the shelf break and slope, including Kuroshio and Oyashio regions off the western subarctic gyre. Occasionally, birds transited the northern boundary of the Kuroshio Extension while in-route to the Aleutian Islands and Bering Sea, but overall spent little time in the western gyre. In the Aleutian Islands, ARS occurred within straits, particularly along the central and western part of the archipelago. In the Bering Sea, ARS occurred along the northern continental

  1. Trace element accumulation in short-tailed albatrosses (Diomedea albatrus) and black-footed albatrosses (Diomedea nigripes) from Torishima Island, Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shinsuke, T.; Tokutaka, I.; Takashi, K.; Miyako, T.; Fumio, S.; Nariko, O.

    2003-05-01

    Concentrations of 19 trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn, Ga, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Ba, Hg, Tl, and Pb) were determined in liver, kidney, muscle, feather and stomach content of short-tailed albatross and feather of black-footed albatross from Torishima Island, Japan. For most of the elements, concentrations in liver and kidney were higher than those in muscle and feather, whereas concentrations of Ga, Sr and Ba were highest in feather of short-taled albatross. Metal concentrations in tissues of short-tailed albatross were within the range of those reported for albatrosses from other locations. Concentrations of Cr, Mn, Hg and Pb were relatively low in the tissues of short-tailed albatross, indicating less contamination by those metals in this species of Torishima Island. No significant differences were observed in metal concentrations in feather between short-tailed albatross and black-footed albatross. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the trace element accumulation in tissues of short-tailed albatross.

  2. Why does the ocean sunfish bask?

    PubMed

    Abe, Takuzo; Sekiguchi, Keiko

    2012-07-01

    Basking at the sea surface is a well known, but peculiar behavior of ocean sunfish (Mola mola). One of hypotheses for this behavior is parasite elimination. However, in oceanic regions, very little direct evidence exists for this form of interspecific communication. In pelagic waters of the North Pacific Ocean, we observed a school of 57 ocean sunfish, that were heavily infested around the base of their dorsal fins with the ecto-parasite Pennella sp. We photographed a Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) nearby that picked a Pennella sp. from one of ocean sunfish and ate it. We hypothesize that ocean sunfish did "bask" to look for skin cleaning and that this symbiotic cleaning behavior by the albatrosses may be a common feature of the biology of the ocean sunfish. Here we provide more photographs to show heavy parasite infections and scars after parasite removal by "cleaners," and discuss how important a symbiotic cleaning relationship could be in the open ocean ecosystem. PMID:23060968

  3. From the eye of the albatrosses: a bird-borne camera shows an association between albatrosses and a killer whale in the Southern Ocean.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Kentaro Q; Takahashi, Akinori; Iwata, Takashi; Trathan, Philip N

    2009-01-01

    Albatrosses fly many hundreds of kilometers across the open ocean to find and feed upon their prey. Despite the growing number of studies concerning their foraging behaviour, relatively little is known about how albatrosses actually locate their prey. Here, we present our results from the first deployments of a combined animal-borne camera and depth data logger on free-ranging black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys). The still images recorded from these cameras showed that some albatrosses actively followed a killer whale (Orcinus orca), possibly to feed on food scraps left by this diving predator. The camera images together with the depth profiles showed that the birds dived only occasionally, but that they actively dived when other birds or the killer whale were present. This association with diving predators or other birds may partially explain how albatrosses find their prey more efficiently in the apparently 'featureless' ocean, with a minimal requirement for energetically costly diving or landing activities. PMID:19809497

  4. The short-tailed Albatross, Diomedea albatrus, its status, distribution and natural history

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hasegawa, H.; DeGange, A.R.

    1982-01-01

    The Short-tailed Albatross (Diomedea albatrus) is presently an Endangered Species that was formerly abundant in the North Pacific. Owing to the activities of feather hunters operating on the albatross's nesting grounds for a 50-year period in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the species was almost reduced to extinction. The Short-tailed Albatross is the largest of the three species of Diomedea that breed in the North Pacific (Table 1) and when mature is the only albatross in the North Pacific with a white back.

  5. Marine debris ingestion by albatrosses in the southwest Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Jiménez, Sebastián; Domingo, Andrés; Brazeiro, Alejandro; Defeo, Omar; Phillips, Richard A

    2015-07-15

    Plastics and other marine debris affect wildlife through entanglement and by ingestion. We assessed the ingestion of marine debris by seven albatross species in the southwest Atlantic by analyzing stomach contents of birds killed in fisheries. Of the 128 specimens examined, including four Diomedea species (n=78) and three Thalassarche species (n=50), 21 (16.4%) contained 1-4 debris items, mainly in the ventriculus. The most common type was plastic fragments. Debris was most frequent in Diomedea species (25.6%) and, particularly, Diomedea sanfordi (38.9%) and very rare in Thalassarche species (2.0%), presumably reflecting differences in foraging behavior or distribution. Frequency of occurrence was significantly higher in male than female Diomedea albatrosses (39.3% vs. 18.0%). Although levels of accumulated debris were relatively low overall, and unlikely to result in gut blockage, associated toxins might nevertheless represent a health risk for Diomedea albatrosses, compounding the negative impact of other human activities on these threatened species. PMID:25986654

  6. Albatross populations in peril: A population trajectory for Black-browed Albatrosses at South Georgia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arnold, J.M.; Brault, S.; Croxall, J.P.

    2006-01-01

    Simulation modeling was used to reconstruct Black-browed Albatross (Diomedea melanophris) population trends. Close approximations to observed data were accomplished by annually varying survival rates, reproductive success, and probabilities of returning to breed given success in previous years. The temporal shift in annual values coincided with the start of longline fishing at South Georgia and potential changes in krill abundance. We used 23 years of demographic data from long-term studies of a breeding colony of this species at Bird Island, South Georgia, to validate our model. When we used annual parameter estimates for survival, reproductive success, and probabilities of returning to breed given success in previous years, our model trajectory closely followed the observed changes in breeding population size over time. Population growth rate was below replacement (lambda < 1) in most years and was most sensitive to changes in adult survival. This supports the recent IUCN uplisting of this species from "Vulnerable" to "Endangered." Comparison of pre-1988 and post-1988 demography (before and after the inception of a longline fishery in the breeding area) reveals a decrease in lambda from 0.963 to 0.910. A life table response experiment (LTRE) showed that this decline in lambda was caused mostly by declines in survival of adults. If 1988-1998 demographic rates are maintained, the model predicts a 98% chance of a population of fewer than 25 pairs within 78 years. For this population to recover to a status under which it could be "delisted," a 10% increase in survival of all age classes would be needed. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  7. Heart rate and estimated energy expenditure of flapping and gliding in black-browed albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Sakamoto, Kentaro Q; Takahashi, Akinori; Iwata, Takashi; Yamamoto, Takashi; Yamamoto, Maki; Trathan, Philip N

    2013-08-15

    Albatrosses are known to expend only a small amount of energy during flight. The low energy cost of albatross flight has been attributed to energy-efficient gliding (soaring) with sporadic flapping, although little is known about how much time and energy albatrosses expend in flapping versus gliding during cruising flight. Here, we examined the heart rates (used as an instantaneous index of energy expenditure) and flapping activities of free-ranging black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys) to estimate the energy cost of flapping as well as time spent in flapping activities. The heart rate of albatrosses during flight (144 beats min(-1)) was similar to that while sitting on the water (150 beats min(-1)). In contrast, heart rate was much higher during takeoff and landing (ca. 200 beats min(-1)). Heart rate during cruising flight was linearly correlated with the number of wing flaps per minute, suggesting an extra energy burden of flapping. Albatrosses spend only 4.6±1.4% of their time flapping during cruising flight, which was significantly lower than during and shortly after takeoff (9.8±3.5%). Flapping activity, which amounted to just 4.6% of the time in flight, accounted for 13.3% of the total energy expenditure during cruising flight. These results support the idea that albatrosses achieve energy-efficient flight by reducing the time spent in flapping activity, which is associated with high energy expenditure. PMID:23661772

  8. Evidence for sex-segregated ocean distributions of first-winter wandering albatrosses at Crozet islands.

    PubMed

    Åkesson, Susanne; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-01-01

    The highly mobile wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) are adapted to navigate the extreme environment of the Southern Ocean and return to isolated islands to breed. Each year they cover several hundreds of thousands of kilometers during travels across the sea. Little is known about the dispersal flights and migration of young albatrosses. We tracked, by satellite telemetry, the departure dispersal of 13 juvenile wandering albatrosses from the Crozet Islands and compared them with tracks of 7 unrelated adults during the interbreeding season. We used the satellite tracks to identify different behavioural steps of the inherited migration program used by juvenile wandering albatrosses during their first solo-migration. Our results show that the juvenile wandering albatrosses from Crozet Islands moved to sex-specific foraging zones of the ocean using at departures selectively the wind. The results suggest that the inherited migration program used by the juvenile wandering albatrosses encode several distinct steps, based on inherited preferred departure routes, differences in migration distance between sexes, and selective use of winds. During long transportation flights the albatrosses were influenced by winds and both adult and juveniles followed approximate loxodrome (rhumbline) routes coinciding with the foraging zone and the specific latitudes of their destination areas. During the long segments of transportation flights across open seas the juveniles selected routes at more northerly latitudes than adults. PMID:24586254

  9. Evidence for Sex-Segregated Ocean Distributions of First-Winter Wandering Albatrosses at Crozet Islands

    PubMed Central

    Åkesson, Susanne; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-01-01

    The highly mobile wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) are adapted to navigate the extreme environment of the Southern Ocean and return to isolated islands to breed. Each year they cover several hundreds of thousands of kilometers during travels across the sea. Little is known about the dispersal flights and migration of young albatrosses. We tracked, by satellite telemetry, the departure dispersal of 13 juvenile wandering albatrosses from the Crozet Islands and compared them with tracks of 7 unrelated adults during the interbreeding season. We used the satellite tracks to identify different behavioural steps of the inherited migration program used by juvenile wandering albatrosses during their first solo-migration. Our results show that the juvenile wandering albatrosses from Crozet Islands moved to sex-specific foraging zones of the ocean using at departures selectively the wind. The results suggest that the inherited migration program used by the juvenile wandering albatrosses encode several distinct steps, based on inherited preferred departure routes, differences in migration distance between sexes, and selective use of winds. During long transportation flights the albatrosses were influenced by winds and both adult and juveniles followed approximate loxodrome (rhumbline) routes coinciding with the foraging zone and the specific latitudes of their destination areas. During the long segments of transportation flights across open seas the juveniles selected routes at more northerly latitudes than adults. PMID:24586254

  10. The effect of food temperature on postprandial metabolism in albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Battam, H; Chappell, M A; Buttemer, W A

    2008-04-01

    Heat generated by the specific dynamic action (SDA) associated with feeding is known to substitute for the thermoregulatory costs of cold-exposed endotherms; however, the effectiveness of this depends on food temperature. When food is cooler than core body temperature, it is warmed by body heat and, consequently, imposes a thermoregulatory challenge to the animal. The degree to which this cost might be ;paid' by SDA depends on the relative timing of food heating and the SDA response. We investigated this phenomenon in two genera of endotherms, Diomedea and Thalassarche albatrosses, by measuring postprandial metabolic rate following ingestion of food at body temperature (40 degrees C) and cooler (0 and 20 degrees C). This permitted us to estimate potential contributions to food warming by SDA-derived heat, and to observe the effect of cold food on metabolic rate. For meal sizes that were approximately 20% of body mass, SDA was 4.22+/-0.37% of assimilated food energy, and potentially contributed 17.9+/-1.0% and 13.2+/-2.2% of the required heating energy of food at 0 degrees C for Diomedea and Thalassarche albatrosses, respectively, and proportionately greater quantities at higher food temperatures. Cold food increased the rate at which postprandial metabolic rate increased to 3.2-4.5 times that associated with food ingested at body temperature. We also found that albatrosses generated heat in excess by more than 50% of the estimated thermostatic heating demand of cold food, a probable consequence of time delays in physiological responses to afferent signals. PMID:18344483

  11. In-flight measurement of upwind dynamic soaring in albatrosses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sachs, Gottfried

    2016-03-01

    In-flight measurement results on upwind flight of albatrosses using dynamic soaring are presented. It is shown how the birds manage to make progress against the wind on the basis of small-scale dynamic soaring maneuvers. For this purpose, trajectory features, motion quantities and mechanical energy relationships as well as force characteristics are analyzed. The movement on a large-scale basis consists of a tacking type flight technique which is composed of dynamic soaring cycle sequences with alternating orientation to the left and right. It is shown how this is performed by the birds so that they can achieve a net upwind flight without a transversal large-scale movement and how this compares with downwind or across wind flight. Results on upwind dynamic soaring are presented for low and high wind speed cases. It is quantified how much the tacking trajectory length is increased when compared with the beeline distance. The presented results which are based on in-flight measurements of free flying albatrosses were achieved with an in-house developed GPS-signal tracking method yielding the required high precision for the small-scale dynamic soaring flight maneuvers.

  12. Proximate drivers of spatial segregation in non-breeding albatrosses

    PubMed Central

    Clay, Thomas A.; Manica, Andrea; Ryan, Peter G.; Silk, Janet R. D.; Croxall, John P.; Ireland, Louise; Phillips, Richard A.

    2016-01-01

    Many animals partition resources to avoid competition, and in colonially-breeding species this often leads to divergent space or habitat use. During the non-breeding season, foraging constraints are relaxed, yet the patterns and drivers of segregation both between and within populations are poorly understood. We modelled habitat preference to examine how extrinsic (habitat availability and intra-specific competition) and intrinsic factors (population, sex and breeding outcome) influence the distributions of non-breeding grey-headed albatrosses Thalassarche chrysostoma tracked from two major populations, South Georgia (Atlantic Ocean) and the Prince Edward Islands (Indian Ocean). Spatial segregation was greater than expected, reflecting distinct seasonal differences in habitat selection and accessibility, and avoidance of intra-specific competition with local breeders. Previously failed birds segregated spatially from successful birds during summer, when they used less productive waters, suggesting a link between breeding outcome and subsequent habitat selection. In contrast, we found weak evidence of sexual segregation, which did not reflect a difference in habitat use. Our results indicate that the large-scale spatial structuring of albatross distributions results from interactions between extrinsic and intrinsic factors, with important implications for population dynamics. As habitat preferences differed substantially between colonies, populations should be considered independently when identifying critical areas for protection. PMID:27443877

  13. Proximate drivers of spatial segregation in non-breeding albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Clay, Thomas A; Manica, Andrea; Ryan, Peter G; Silk, Janet R D; Croxall, John P; Ireland, Louise; Phillips, Richard A

    2016-01-01

    Many animals partition resources to avoid competition, and in colonially-breeding species this often leads to divergent space or habitat use. During the non-breeding season, foraging constraints are relaxed, yet the patterns and drivers of segregation both between and within populations are poorly understood. We modelled habitat preference to examine how extrinsic (habitat availability and intra-specific competition) and intrinsic factors (population, sex and breeding outcome) influence the distributions of non-breeding grey-headed albatrosses Thalassarche chrysostoma tracked from two major populations, South Georgia (Atlantic Ocean) and the Prince Edward Islands (Indian Ocean). Spatial segregation was greater than expected, reflecting distinct seasonal differences in habitat selection and accessibility, and avoidance of intra-specific competition with local breeders. Previously failed birds segregated spatially from successful birds during summer, when they used less productive waters, suggesting a link between breeding outcome and subsequent habitat selection. In contrast, we found weak evidence of sexual segregation, which did not reflect a difference in habitat use. Our results indicate that the large-scale spatial structuring of albatross distributions results from interactions between extrinsic and intrinsic factors, with important implications for population dynamics. As habitat preferences differed substantially between colonies, populations should be considered independently when identifying critical areas for protection. PMID:27443877

  14. From the Eye of the Albatrosses: A Bird-Borne Camera Shows an Association between Albatrosses and a Killer Whale in the Southern Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Sakamoto, Kentaro Q.; Takahashi, Akinori; Iwata, Takashi; Trathan, Philip N.

    2009-01-01

    Albatrosses fly many hundreds of kilometers across the open ocean to find and feed upon their prey. Despite the growing number of studies concerning their foraging behaviour, relatively little is known about how albatrosses actually locate their prey. Here, we present our results from the first deployments of a combined animal-borne camera and depth data logger on free-ranging black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys). The still images recorded from these cameras showed that some albatrosses actively followed a killer whale (Orcinus orca), possibly to feed on food scraps left by this diving predator. The camera images together with the depth profiles showed that the birds dived only occasionally, but that they actively dived when other birds or the killer whale were present. This association with diving predators or other birds may partially explain how albatrosses find their prey more efficiently in the apparently ‘featureless’ ocean, with a minimal requirement for energetically costly diving or landing activities. PMID:19809497

  15. Dual Wavelength Lidar Observation of Tropical High-Altitude Cirrus Clouds During the ALBATROSS 1996 Campaign

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Beyerle, G.; Schafer, J.; Neuber, R.; Schrems, O.; McDermid, I. S.

    1998-01-01

    Dual wavelength aerosol lidar observations of tropical high-altitude cirrus clouds were performed during the ALBATROSS 1996 campaign aboard the research vessel POLARSTERN on the Atlantic ocean in October-November 1996.

  16. Orientation in the wandering albatross: interfering with magnetic perception does not affect orientation performance.

    PubMed

    Bonadonna, F; Bajzak, C; Benhamou, S; Igloi, K; Jouventin, P; Lipp, H P; Dell'Omo, G

    2005-03-01

    After making foraging flights of several thousands of kilometers, wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) are able to pinpoint a specific remote island where their nests are located. This impressive navigation ability is highly precise but its nature is mysterious. Here we examined whether albatrosses rely on the perception of the Earth's magnetic field to accomplish this task. We disturbed the perception of the magnetic field using mobile magnets glued to the head of nine albatrosses and compared their performances with those of 11 control birds. We then used satellite telemetry to monitor their behavior. We found that the ability of birds to home specific nest sites was unimpaired by this manipulation. In particular, experimental and control birds did not show significant differences with respect to either foraging trip duration, or length, or with respect to homing straightness index. Our data suggest that wandering albatrosses do not require magnetic cues to navigate back to their nesting birds. PMID:15799944

  17. Regional differences in plastic ingestion among Southern Ocean fur seals and albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Ryan, Peter G; de Bruyn, P J Nico; Bester, Marthán N

    2016-03-15

    We provide data on regional differences in plastic ingestion for two Southern Ocean top predators: Arctocephalus fur seals and albatrosses (Diomedeidae). Fur seals breeding on Macquarie Island in the 1990s excreted small (mainly 2-5 mm) plastic fragments, probably derived secondarily from myctophid fish. No plastic was found in the scats of these seals breeding on three islands in the southwest Indian and central South Atlantic Oceans, despite myctophids dominating their diets at these locations. Compared to recent reports of plastic ingestion by albatrosses off the east coast of South America, we confirm that plastic is seldom found in the stomachs of Thalassarche albatrosses off South Africa, but found no Diomedea albatrosses to contain plastic, compared to 26% off South America. The reasons for such regional differences are unclear, but emphasize the importance of reporting negative as well as positive records of plastic ingestion by marine biota. PMID:26827096

  18. Effects of El Niño-driven changes in wind patterns on North Pacific albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Thorne, L H; Conners, M G; Hazen, E L; Bograd, S J; Antolos, M; Costa, D P; Shaffer, S A

    2016-06-01

    Changes to patterns of wind and ocean currents are tightly linked to climate change and have important implications for cost of travel and energy budgets in marine vertebrates. We evaluated how El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)-driven wind patterns affected breeding Laysan and black-footed albatross across a decade of study. Owing to latitudinal variation in wind patterns, wind speed differed between habitat used during incubation and brooding; during La Niña conditions, wind speeds were lower in incubating Laysan (though not black-footed) albatross habitat, but higher in habitats used by brooding albatrosses. Incubating Laysan albatrosses benefited from increased wind speeds during El Niño conditions, showing increased travel speeds and mass gained during foraging trips. However, brooding albatrosses did not benefit from stronger winds during La Niña conditions, instead experiencing stronger cumulative headwinds and a smaller proportion of trips in tailwinds. Increased travel costs during brooding may contribute to the lower reproductive success observed in La Niña conditions. Furthermore, benefits of stronger winds in incubating habitat may explain the higher reproductive success of Laysan albatross during El Niño conditions. Our findings highlight the importance of considering habitat accessibility and cost of travel when evaluating the impacts of climate-driven habitat change on marine predators. PMID:27278360

  19. Fast and fuel efficient? Optimal use of wind by flying albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, H; Guionnet, T; Martin, J; Shaffer, S A; Costa, D P

    2000-09-22

    The influence of wind patterns on behaviour and effort of free-ranging male wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) was studied with miniaturized external heart-rate recorders in conjunction with satellite transmitters and activity recorders. Heart rate was used as an instantaneous index of energy expenditure. When cruising with favourable tail or side winds, wandering albatrosses can achieve high flight speeds while expending little more energy than birds resting on land. In contrast, heart rate increases concomitantly with increasing head winds, and flight speeds decrease. Our results show that effort is greatest when albatrosses take off from or land on the water. On a larger scale, we show that in order for birds to have the highest probability of experiencing favourable winds, wandering albatrosses use predictable weather systems to engage in a stereotypical flight pattern of large looping tracks. When heading north, albatrosses fly in anticlockwise loops, and to the south, movements are in a clockwise direction. Thus, the capacity to integrate instantaneous eco-physiological measures with records of large-scale flight and wind patterns allows us to understand better the complex interplay between the evolution of morphological, physiological and behavioural adaptations of albatrosses in the windiest place on earth. PMID:11052538

  20. Females better face senescence in the wandering albatross.

    PubMed

    Pardo, Deborah; Barbraud, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2013-12-01

    Sex differences in lifespan and aging are widespread among animals. Since investment in current reproduction can have consequences on other life-history traits, the sex with the highest cost of breeding is expected to suffer from an earlier and/or stronger senescence. This has been demonstrated in polygynous species that are highly dimorphic. However in monogamous species where parental investment is similar between sexes, sex-specific differences in aging patterns of life-history traits are expected to be attenuated. Here, we examined sex and age influences on demographic traits in a very long-lived and sexually dimorphic monogamous species, the wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans). We modelled within the same model framework sex-dependent variations in aging for an array of five life-history traits: adult survival, probability of returning to the breeding colony, probability of breeding and two measures of breeding success (hatching and fledging). We show that life-history traits presented contrasted aging patterns according to sex whereas traits were all similar at young ages. Both sexes exhibited actuarial and reproductive senescence, but, as the decrease in breeding success remained similar for males and females, the survival and breeding probabilities of males were significantly more affected than females. We discuss our results in the light of the costs associated to reproduction, age-related pairing and a biased operational sex-ratio in the population leading to a pool of non-breeders of potentially lower quality and therefore more subject to death or breeding abstention. For a monogamous species with similar parental roles, the patterns observed were surprising and when placed in a gradient of observed age/sex-related variations in life-history traits, wandering albatrosses were intermediate between highly dimorphic polygynous and most monogamous species. PMID:23797411

  1. Evidence for olfactory search in wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans.

    PubMed

    Nevitt, Gabrielle A; Losekoot, Marcel; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2008-03-25

    Wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) forage over thousands of square kilometers of open ocean for patchily distributed live prey and carrion. These birds have large olfactory bulbs and respond to fishy-scented odors in at-sea trials, suggesting that olfaction plays a role in natural foraging behavior. With the advent of new, fine-scale tracking technologies, we are beginning to explore how birds track prey in the pelagic environment, and we relate these observations to models of odor transport in natural situations. These models suggest that odors emanating from prey will tend to disperse laterally and downwind of the odor source and acquire an irregular and patchy concentration distribution due to turbulent transport. For a seabird foraging over the ocean, this scenario suggests that olfactory search would be facilitated by crosswind flight to optimize the probability of encountering a plume emanating from a prey item, followed by upwind, zigzag flight to localize the prey. By contrast, birds approaching prey by sight would be expected to fly directly to a prey item, irrespective of wind direction. Using high-precision global positioning system (GPS) loggers in conjunction with stomach temperature recorders to simultaneously monitor feeding events, we confirm these predictions in freely ranging wandering albatrosses. We found that initial olfactory detection was implicated in nearly half (46.8%) of all flown approaches preceding prey-capture events, accounting for 45.5% of total prey mass captured by in-flight foraging. These results offer insights into the sensory basis for area-restricted search at the large spatial scales of the open ocean. PMID:18326025

  2. Patterns of aging in the long-lived wandering albatross.

    PubMed

    Lecomte, Vincent Julien; Sorci, Gabriele; Cornet, Stéphane; Jaeger, Audrey; Faivre, Bruno; Arnoux, Emilie; Gaillard, Maria; Trouvé, Colette; Besson, Dominique; Chastel, Olivier; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2010-04-01

    How does an animal age in natural conditions? Given the multifaceted nature of senescence, identifying the effects of age on physiology and behavior remains challenging. We investigated the effects of age on a broad array of phenotypic traits in a wild, long-lived animal, the wandering albatross. We studied foraging behavior using satellite tracking and activity loggers in males and females (age 6-48+ years), and monitored reproductive performance and nine markers of baseline physiology known to reflect senescence in vertebrates (humoral immunity, oxidative stress, antioxidant defenses, and hormone levels). Age strongly affected foraging behavior and reproductive performance, but not baseline physiology. Consistent with results of mammal and human studies, age affected males and females differently. Overall, our findings demonstrate that age, sex, and foraging ability interact in shaping aging patterns in natural conditions. Specifically, we found an unexpected pattern of spatial segregation by age; old males foraged in remote Antarctica waters, whereas young and middle-aged males never foraged south of the Polar Front. Old males traveled a greater distance but were less active at the sea surface, and returned from sea with elevated levels of stress hormone (corticosterone), mirroring a low foraging efficiency. In contrast to findings in captive animals and short-lived birds, and consistent with disposable soma theory, we found no detectable age-related deterioration of baseline physiology in albatrosses. We propose that foraging efficiency (i.e., the ability of individuals to extract energy from their environment) might play a central role in shaping aging patterns in natural conditions. PMID:20308547

  3. Age-related mate choice in the wandering albatross.

    PubMed

    Jouventin; Lequette; Dobson

    1999-05-01

    We studied mate choice in the wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans, using data from 32 years of banding returns in the population of the Crozet Islands. We studied mating choices in a single year, when the Crozet Islands population was male biased (8:5, males:females). Thus, we expected that females might show great flexibility of choice of partners. Because age and experience might influence mate choice, we tested the expectation that females would choose the oldest and most experienced males for pair bonding. Pair bonds usually last until one member of the pair dies (0.3% of the birds 'divorce'), so mate choice should be especially important. We found that the ages of males and females in both displaying and bonded (breeding) pairs were significantly correlated. These age-associated pairings were not a passive phenomenon, but appeared to be due to an active process of selection of mates of similar age. First-time breeders sought mates of similar age, but preferred those with the most experience. Remating, experienced birds whose mates had died did not pair with individuals of significantly similar age, but predominantly paired with other widowed birds that, on average, were also relatively old. Mate fidelity in wandering albatrosses may be due to the cost of finding and bonding with a new mate. Pair bonds, and thus breeding, took an average of 3.2 and 2.3 years to establish, for males and females, respectively. Thus, remating exerts a potential average reproductive cost of about 15% of lifetime reproductive success. Copyright 1999 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. PMID:10328796

  4. Evidence for olfactory search in wandering albatross, Diomedea exulans

    PubMed Central

    Nevitt, Gabrielle A.; Losekoot, Marcel; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2008-01-01

    Wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) forage over thousands of square kilometers of open ocean for patchily distributed live prey and carrion. These birds have large olfactory bulbs and respond to fishy-scented odors in at-sea trials, suggesting that olfaction plays a role in natural foraging behavior. With the advent of new, fine-scale tracking technologies, we are beginning to explore how birds track prey in the pelagic environment, and we relate these observations to models of odor transport in natural situations. These models suggest that odors emanating from prey will tend to disperse laterally and downwind of the odor source and acquire an irregular and patchy concentration distribution due to turbulent transport. For a seabird foraging over the ocean, this scenario suggests that olfactory search would be facilitated by crosswind flight to optimize the probability of encountering a plume emanating from a prey item, followed by upwind, zigzag flight to localize the prey. By contrast, birds approaching prey by sight would be expected to fly directly to a prey item, irrespective of wind direction. Using high-precision global positioning system (GPS) loggers in conjunction with stomach temperature recorders to simultaneously monitor feeding events, we confirm these predictions in freely ranging wandering albatrosses. We found that initial olfactory detection was implicated in nearly half (46.8%) of all flown approaches preceding prey-capture events, accounting for 45.5% of total prey mass captured by in-flight foraging. These results offer insights into the sensory basis for area-restricted search at the large spatial scales of the open ocean. PMID:18326025

  5. Mitigating seabird bycatch during hauling by pelagic longline vessels.

    PubMed

    Gilman, Eric; Chaloupka, Milani; Wiedoff, Brett; Willson, Jeremy

    2014-01-01

    Bycatch in longline fisheries threatens the viability of some seabird populations. The Hawaii longline swordfish fishery reduced seabird captures by an order of magnitude primarily through mitigating bycatch during setting. Now, 75% of captures occur during hauling. We fit observer data to a generalized additive regression model with mixed effects to determine the significance of the effect of various factors on the standardized seabird haul catch rate. Density of albatrosses attending vessels during hauling, leader length and year had largest model effects. The standardized haul catch rate significantly increased with increased albatross density during hauling. The standardized catch rate was significantly higher the longer the leader: shorter leaders place weighted swivels closer to hooks, reducing the likelihood of baited hooks becoming available to surface-scavenging albatrosses. There was a significant linear increasing temporal trend in the standardized catch rate, possibly partly due to an observed increasing temporal trend in the local abundance of albatrosses attending vessels during hauling. Swivel weight, Beaufort scale and season were also significant but smaller model effects. Most (81%) haul captures were on branchlines actively being retrieved. Future haul mitigation research should therefore focus on reducing bird access to hooks as crew coil branchlines, including methods identified here of shorter leaders and heavier swivels, and other potentially effective methods, including faster branchline coiling and shielding the area where hooks becomes accessible. The proportion of Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) captures that occurred during hauling was significantly, 1.6 times, higher than for black-footed albatrosses (P. nigripes), perhaps due to differences in the time of day of foraging and in daytime scavenging competitiveness; mitigating haul bycatch would therefore be a larger benefit to Laysans. Locally, findings identify opportunities

  6. Ingestion of plastic debris by Laysan albatrosses and wedge-tailed shearwaters in the Hawaiian Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fry, D.M.; Fefer, S.I.; Sileo, L.

    1987-01-01

    Surveys of Laysan Albatross and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters on Midway and Oahu Island, Hawaii, identified a high proportion of birds with plastic in the upper gastrointestinal tract, representing hazards to the health of adult birds and their chicks. Fifty Laysan Albatross chicks were examined for plastic items lodged within the upper digestive tract. Forty-five (90%) contained plastic, including 3 chicks having proventricular impactions or ulcerative lesions. Plastic items in 21 live albatross chicks weighed a mean of 35.7 g chicka??1 (range 1a??175 g). Four dead birds contained 14a??175 g (mean 76.7 g). Two of four adult albatross examined contained plastic in the gut. Laysan albatross chicks have the highest reported incidence and amount of ingested plastic of any seabird species. Twelve of 20 adult Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (60%) contained plastic particles 2a??4 mm in diameter. Impaction did not appear to be a significant hazard for adult shearwaters. Shearwater chicks were not examined. Chemical toxicity of plastic polymers, plasticizers and antioxidant additives is low, although many pigments are toxic and plastics may serve as vehicles for the adsorption of organochlorine pollutants from sea water, and the toxicity of plastics is unlikely to pose significant hazard compared to obstruction and impaction of the gut.

  7. Contrasting movement strategies among juvenile albatrosses and petrels.

    PubMed

    de Grissac, Sophie; Börger, Luca; Guitteaud, Audrey; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2016-01-01

    Animal movement is a fundamental eco-evolutionary process yet the behaviour of juvenile animals is largely unknown for many species, especially for soaring seabirds which can range widely over the oceans at low cost. We present an unprecedented dataset of 98 juvenile albatrosses and petrels (nine species), tracked for the first three months after independence. There was a startling diversity within and among species in the type and scale of post-natal movement strategies, ranging from area-restricted to nomadic patterns. Spatial scales were clustered in three groups that ranged from <3000 km to >6000 km from the natal nest. In seven of the nine species, the orientation of flight paths and other movement statistics showed strong similarities between juveniles and adults, providing evidence for innate orientation abilities. Our results have implications for understanding the development of foraging behaviour in naïve individuals and the evolution of life history traits such as survival, lifespan and breeding strategy. PMID:27189182

  8. Lévy flight search patterns of wandering albatrosses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viswanathan, G. M.; Afanasyev, V.; Buldyrev, S. V.; Murphy, E. J.; Prince, P. A.; Stanley, H. E.

    1996-05-01

    LéVY flights are a special class of random walks whose step lengths are not constant but rather are chosen from a probability distribution with a power-law tail. Realizations of Lévy flights in physical phenomena are very diverse, examples including fluid dynamics, dynamical systems, and micelles1,2. This diversity raises the possibility that Lévy flights may be found in biological systems. A decade ago, it was proposed that Lévy flights may be observed in the behaviour of foraging ants3. Recently, it was argued that Drosophila might perform Lévy flights4, but the hypothesis that foraging animals in natural environments perform Lévy flights has not been tested. Here we study the foraging behaviour of the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans, and find a power-law distribution of flight-time intervals. We interpret our finding of temporal scale invariance in terms of a scale-invariant spatial distribution of food on the ocean surface. Finally, we examine the significance of our finding in relation to the basis of scale-invariant phenomena observed in biological systems.

  9. How quickly do albatrosses and petrels digest plastic particles?

    PubMed

    Ryan, Peter G

    2015-12-01

    Understanding how rapidly seabirds excrete or regurgitate ingested plastic items is important for their use as monitors of marine debris. van Franeker and Law (2015) inferred that fulmarine petrels excrete ∼75% of plastic particles within a month of ingestion based on decreases in the amounts of plastic in the stomachs of adult petrels moving to relatively clean environments to breed. However, similar decreases occur among resident species due to adults passing plastic loads to their chicks. The few direct measures of wear rates and retention times of persistent stomach contents suggest longer plastic residence times in most albatrosses and petrels. Residence time presumably varies with item size, type of plastic, the amount and composition of other persistent stomach contents, and the size at which items are excreted, which may vary among taxa. Accurate measures of ingested plastic retention times are needed to better understand temporal and spatial patterns in ingested plastic loads within marine organisms, especially if they are to be used as indicators of plastic pollution trends. PMID:26286902

  10. Adaptive value of same-sex pairing in Laysan albatross

    PubMed Central

    Young, Lindsay C.; VanderWerf, Eric A.

    2014-01-01

    Same-sex pairing is widespread among animals but is difficult to explain in an evolutionary context because it does not result in reproduction, and thus same-sex behaviour often is viewed as maladaptive. Here, we compare survival, fecundity and transition probabilities of female Laysan albatross in different pair types, and we show how female–female pairing could be an adaptive alternative mating strategy, albeit one that resulted in lower fitness than male–female pairing. Females in same-sex pairs produced 80% fewer chicks, had lower survival and skipped breeding more often than those in male–female pairs. Females in same-sex pairs that raised a chick sometimes acquired a male mate in the following year, but females in failed same-sex pairs never did, suggesting that males exert sexual selection by assessing female quality and relegating low-quality females into same-sex pairs. Sexual selection by males in a monomorphic, non-ornamented species is rare and suggests that reconsideration is needed of the circumstances in which alternative reproductive behaviour evolves. Given the lack of males and obligate biparental care in this species, this research demonstrates how same-sex pairing was better than not breeding and highlights how it could be an adaptive strategy under certain demographic conditions. PMID:24285198

  11. Contrasting movement strategies among juvenile albatrosses and petrels

    PubMed Central

    de Grissac, Sophie; Börger, Luca; Guitteaud, Audrey; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2016-01-01

    Animal movement is a fundamental eco-evolutionary process yet the behaviour of juvenile animals is largely unknown for many species, especially for soaring seabirds which can range widely over the oceans at low cost. We present an unprecedented dataset of 98 juvenile albatrosses and petrels (nine species), tracked for the first three months after independence. There was a startling diversity within and among species in the type and scale of post-natal movement strategies, ranging from area-restricted to nomadic patterns. Spatial scales were clustered in three groups that ranged from <3000 km to >6000 km from the natal nest. In seven of the nine species, the orientation of flight paths and other movement statistics showed strong similarities between juveniles and adults, providing evidence for innate orientation abilities. Our results have implications for understanding the development of foraging behaviour in naïve individuals and the evolution of life history traits such as survival, lifespan and breeding strategy. PMID:27189182

  12. Sampling design considerations for demographic studies: a case of colonial seabirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kendall, William L.; Converse, Sarah J.; Doherty, Paul F., Jr.; Naughton, Maura B.; Anders, Angela; Hines, James E.; Flint, Elizabeth

    2009-01-01

    For the purposes of making many informed conservation decisions, the main goal for data collection is to assess population status and allow prediction of the consequences of candidate management actions. Reducing the bias and variance of estimates of population parameters reduces uncertainty in population status and projections, thereby reducing the overall uncertainty under which a population manager must make a decision. In capture-recapture studies, imperfect detection of individuals, unobservable life-history states, local movement outside study areas, and tag loss can cause bias or precision problems with estimates of population parameters. Furthermore, excessive disturbance to individuals during capture?recapture sampling may be of concern because disturbance may have demographic consequences. We address these problems using as an example a monitoring program for Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) and Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) nesting populations in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands. To mitigate these estimation problems, we describe a synergistic combination of sampling design and modeling approaches. Solutions include multiple capture periods per season and multistate, robust design statistical models, dead recoveries and incidental observations, telemetry and data loggers, buffer areas around study plots to neutralize the effect of local movements outside study plots, and double banding and statistical models that account for band loss. We also present a variation on the robust capture?recapture design and a corresponding statistical model that minimizes disturbance to individuals. For the albatross case study, this less invasive robust design was more time efficient and, when used in combination with a traditional robust design, reduced the standard error of detection probability by 14% with only two hours of additional effort in the field. These field techniques and associated modeling approaches are applicable to studies of

  13. Insight of scent: experimental evidence of olfactory capabilities in the wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans).

    PubMed

    Mardon, J; Nesterova, A P; Traugott, J; Saunders, S M; Bonadonna, F

    2010-02-15

    Wandering albatrosses routinely forage over thousands of kilometres of open ocean, but the sensory mechanisms used in the food search itself have not been completely elucidated. Recent telemetry studies show that some spatial behaviours of the species are consistent with the 'multimodal foraging strategy' hypothesis which proposes that birds use a combination of olfactory and visual cues while foraging at sea. The 'multimodal foraging strategy' hypothesis, however, still suffers from a lack of experimental evidence, particularly regarding the olfactory capabilities of wandering albatrosses. As an initial step to test the hypothesis, we carried out behavioural experiments exploring the sensory capabilities of adult wandering albatrosses at a breeding colony. Three two-choice tests were designed to investigate the birds' response to olfactory and visual stimuli, individually or in combination. Perception of the different stimuli was assessed by comparing the amount of exploration directed towards an 'experimental' display or a 'control' display. Our results indicate that birds were able to perceive the three types of stimulus presented: olfactory, visual and combined. Moreover, olfactory and visual cues were found to have additional effects on the exploratory behaviours of males. This simple experimental demonstration of reasonable olfactory capabilities in the wandering albatross supports the 'multimodal foraging strategy' and is consistent with recent hypotheses of the evolutionary history of procellariiforms. PMID:20118306

  14. Multistate Models for Estimation of Survival and Reproduction in the Grey-headed Albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Converse, S.J.; Kendall, W.L.; Doherty, P.F., Jr.; Ryan, P.G.

    2009-01-01

    Reliable information on demography is necessary for conservation of albatrosses, the most threatened family of pelagic birds. Albatross survival has been estimated using mark?recapture data and the Cormack-Jolly-Seber (CJS) model. However, albatross exhibit skipped breeding, violating assumptions of the CJS model. Multistate modeling integrating unobservable states is a promising tool for such situations. We applied multistate models to data on Grey-headed Albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma) to evaluate model performance and describe demographic patterns. These included a multistate equivalent of the CJS model (MS-2), including successful and failed breeding states and ignoring temporary emigration, and three versions of a four-state multistate model that accounts for temporary emigration by integrating unobservable states: a model (MS-4) with one sample per breeding season, a robust design model (RDMS-4) with multiple samples per season and geographic closure within the season, and an open robust design model (ORDMS-4) with multiple samples per season and staggered entry and exit of animals within the season. Survival estimates from the MS-2 model were higher than those from the MS-4 model, which resulted in apparent percent relative bias averaging 2.2%. The ORDMS-4 model was more appropriate than the RDMS-4 model, given that staggered entry and exit occurred. Annual survival probability for Greyheaded Albatross at Marion Island was 0.951 ? 0.006 (SE), and the probability of skipped breeding in a subsequent year averaged 0.938 for successful and 0.163 for failed breeders. We recommend that multistate models with unobservable states, combined with robust-design sampling, be used in studies of species that exhibit temporary emigration.

  15. Tidal fronts and their influence on prawn postlarvae immigration in Albatross Bay, the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Xiao-Hua

    1995-06-01

    Studies of dynamics in Albatross Bay, the Gulf of Carpentaria, Australia, show strong tides of which M2 is the dominant constituent in the region. Tidal fronts are present and they can be modelled by a 2-D tidal model. Density currents have also been observed with seasonal variations due to the influence of wet or dry seasons. This paper reviews the effects of these dynamics on the migration of prawn postlarvae in Albatross Bay and its estuaries. It is found that through its vertical movement triggered by change of salinity the prawn postlarvae can be transported from the coast to the estuary by tides within 2.8 weeks. However, this horizontal displacement mechanism may be destroyed by the tidal front in Albatross Bay. Density currents may alter prawn postlarvae positions in Albatross Bay on a seasonal scale.

  16. Flying at no mechanical energy cost: disclosing the secret of wandering albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Sachs, Gottfried; Traugott, Johannes; Nesterova, Anna P; Dell'Omo, Giacomo; Kümmeth, Franz; Heidrich, Wolfgang; Vyssotski, Alexei L; Bonadonna, Francesco

    2012-01-01

    Albatrosses do something that no other birds are able to do: fly thousands of kilometres at no mechanical cost. This is possible because they use dynamic soaring, a flight mode that enables them to gain the energy required for flying from wind. Until now, the physical mechanisms of the energy gain in terms of the energy transfer from the wind to the bird were mostly unknown. Here we show that the energy gain is achieved by a dynamic flight manoeuvre consisting of a continually repeated up-down curve with optimal adjustment to the wind. We determined the energy obtained from the wind by analysing the measured trajectories of free flying birds using a new GPS-signal tracking method yielding a high precision. Our results reveal an evolutionary adaptation to an extreme environment, and may support recent biologically inspired research on robotic aircraft that might utilize albatrosses' flight technique for engineless propulsion. PMID:22957014

  17. Quantifying the Statistics of Animal Motion: Lévy Flights of the Wandering Albatross

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viswanathan, Gandhimohan M.

    1998-03-01

    Lévy flights are commonly observed in physical and biological systems(See, e.g., M. F. Shlesinger, G. Zaslavsky and U. Frisch, eds., Lévy flights and Related Topics in Physics) (Springer, Berlin, 1995)., raising the possibility that similar random walks may be used to describe animal motion. Here we discuss recent findings showing that the Wandering Albatross and other animals may perform Lévy flights when foraging( G. M. Viswanathan, V. Afanasyev, S. V. Buldyrev, E. J. Murphy, P. A. Prince and H. E. Stanley, ``Lévy Flight Search Patterns of Wandering Albatrosses,'' Nature) 381, 413--415 (1996). We further examine how such random walks may confer biological advantages and discuss recent findings which suggest that under certain conditions there is a universal power law exponent which characterizes Lévy flight foraging ( G. M. Viswanathan, Sergey V. Buldyrev, Shlomo Havlin, M. G. E. da Luz, E. P. Raposo and H. E. Stanley, preprint.).

  18. Flying at No Mechanical Energy Cost: Disclosing the Secret of Wandering Albatrosses

    PubMed Central

    Sachs, Gottfried; Traugott, Johannes; Nesterova, Anna P.; Dell'Omo, Giacomo; Kümmeth, Franz; Heidrich, Wolfgang

    2012-01-01

    Albatrosses do something that no other birds are able to do: fly thousands of kilometres at no mechanical cost. This is possible because they use dynamic soaring, a flight mode that enables them to gain the energy required for flying from wind. Until now, the physical mechanisms of the energy gain in terms of the energy transfer from the wind to the bird were mostly unknown. Here we show that the energy gain is achieved by a dynamic flight manoeuvre consisting of a continually repeated up-down curve with optimal adjustment to the wind. We determined the energy obtained from the wind by analysing the measured trajectories of free flying birds using a new GPS-signal tracking method yielding a high precision. Our results reveal an evolutionary adaptation to an extreme environment, and may support recent biologically inspired research on robotic aircraft that might utilize albatrosses' flight technique for engineless propulsion. PMID:22957014

  19. Chemical composition and tissue energy density of the cuttlefish (Sepia apama) and its assimilation efficiency by Diomedea albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Battam, H; Richardson, M; Watson, A W T; Buttemer, W A

    2010-11-01

    The cuttlefish Sepia apama Gray (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) is a seasonally abundant food resource exploited annually by moulting albatrosses throughout winter and early spring in the coastal waters of New South Wales, Australia. To assess its nutritional value as albatross forage, we analysed S. apama for water, lipid protein, ash contents, energy density and amino acid composition. Because albatrosses consistently consume S. apama parts preferentially in the order of head, viscera and mantle, we analysed these sections separately, but did not identify any nutritional basis for this selective feeding behaviour. The gross energy value of S. apama bodies was 20.9 kJ/g dry mass, but their high water content (>83%; cf <70% for fish) results in a relatively low energy density of 3.53 kJ/g. This may contribute to a need to take large meals, which subsequently degrade flight performance. Protein content was typically >75% dry mass, whereas fat content was only about 1%. Albatrosses feed on many species of cephalopods and teleost fish, and we found the amino acid composition of S. apama to be comparable to a range of species within these taxa. We used S. apama exclusively in feeding trials to estimate the energy assimilation efficiency for Diomedea albatrosses. We estimated their nitrogen-corrected apparent energy assimilation efficiency for consuming this prey to be 81.82 ± 0.72% and nitrogen retention as 2.90 ± 0.11 g N kg(-1) d(-1). Although S. apama has a high water content and relatively low energy density, its protein composition is otherwise comparable to other albatross prey species. Consequently, the large size and seasonal abundance of this prey should ensure that albatrosses remain replete and adequately nourished on this forage while undergoing moult. PMID:20640855

  20. Effects of Climate Change and Fisheries Bycatch on Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta) in Southern Australia.

    PubMed

    Thomson, Robin B; Alderman, Rachael L; Tuck, Geoffrey N; Hobday, Alistair J

    2015-01-01

    The impacts of climate change on marine species are often compounded by other stressors that make direct attribution and prediction difficult. Shy albatrosses (Thalassarche cauta) breeding on Albatross Island, Tasmania, show an unusually restricted foraging range, allowing easier discrimination between the influence of non-climate stressors (fisheries bycatch) and environmental variation. Local environmental conditions (rainfall, air temperature, and sea-surface height, an indicator of upwelling) during the vulnerable chick-rearing stage, have been correlated with breeding success of shy albatrosses. We use an age-, stage- and sex-structured population model to explore potential relationships between local environmental factors and albatross breeding success while accounting for fisheries bycatch by trawl and longline fisheries. The model uses time-series of observed breeding population counts, breeding success, adult and juvenile survival rates and a bycatch mortality observation for trawl fishing to estimate fisheries catchability, environmental influence, natural mortality rate, density dependence, and productivity. Observed at-sea distributions for adult and juvenile birds were coupled with reported fishing effort to estimate vulnerability to incidental bycatch. The inclusion of rainfall, temperature and sea-surface height as explanatory variables for annual chick mortality rate was statistically significant. Global climate models predict little change in future local average rainfall, however, increases are forecast in both temperatures and upwelling, which are predicted to have detrimental and beneficial effects, respectively, on breeding success. The model shows that mitigation of at least 50% of present bycatch is required to offset losses due to future temperature changes, even if upwelling increases substantially. Our results highlight the benefits of using an integrated modeling approach, which uses available demographic as well as environmental data

  1. Effects of Climate Change and Fisheries Bycatch on Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta) in Southern Australia

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    The impacts of climate change on marine species are often compounded by other stressors that make direct attribution and prediction difficult. Shy albatrosses (Thalassarche cauta) breeding on Albatross Island, Tasmania, show an unusually restricted foraging range, allowing easier discrimination between the influence of non-climate stressors (fisheries bycatch) and environmental variation. Local environmental conditions (rainfall, air temperature, and sea-surface height, an indicator of upwelling) during the vulnerable chick-rearing stage, have been correlated with breeding success of shy albatrosses. We use an age-, stage- and sex-structured population model to explore potential relationships between local environmental factors and albatross breeding success while accounting for fisheries bycatch by trawl and longline fisheries. The model uses time-series of observed breeding population counts, breeding success, adult and juvenile survival rates and a bycatch mortality observation for trawl fishing to estimate fisheries catchability, environmental influence, natural mortality rate, density dependence, and productivity. Observed at-sea distributions for adult and juvenile birds were coupled with reported fishing effort to estimate vulnerability to incidental bycatch. The inclusion of rainfall, temperature and sea-surface height as explanatory variables for annual chick mortality rate was statistically significant. Global climate models predict little change in future local average rainfall, however, increases are forecast in both temperatures and upwelling, which are predicted to have detrimental and beneficial effects, respectively, on breeding success. The model shows that mitigation of at least 50% of present bycatch is required to offset losses due to future temperature changes, even if upwelling increases substantially. Our results highlight the benefits of using an integrated modeling approach, which uses available demographic as well as environmental data

  2. Migratory carryover effects and endocrinological correlates of reproductive decisions and reproductive success in female albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Crossin, Glenn T; Phillips, Richard A; Trathan, Phil N; Fox, Derren S; Dawson, Alistair; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine E; Williams, Tony D

    2012-04-01

    Physiological mechanisms mediating carryover effects, wherein events or activities occurring in one season, habitat, or life-history stage affect important processes in subsequent life-history stages, are largely unknown. The mechanism most commonly invoked to explain carryover effects from migration centres on the acquisition and utilization of resources (e.g. body mass, or individual 'condition'). However, other mechanisms are plausible, e.g. trade-offs reflecting conflict or incompatibility between physiological regulatory systems required for different activities or life-history stages (migration vs. reproduction). Here we show that in female black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris) the decision to reproduce or to defer reproduction, made prior to their arrival at breeding colonies after long-distance migration, is associated with condition-related (body mass, hematocrit, hemoglobin concentrations) and hormonal (progesterone, testosterone, estrogen-dependent yolk precursors) traits. In contrast, reproductive success showed little association with condition but showed significant associations with the steroidogenic processes underlying follicle development. Specifically, success was determined by reproductive readiness via differences in steroid hormones and hormone-dependent traits. Successful albatrosses were characterized by high progesterone and high estradiol-dependent yolk precursor levels, whereas failed albatrosses had high testosterone and low yolk precursor levels. Results are discussed with reference to migratory carryover effects and how these can differentially affect the physiologies influencing reproductive decisions and reproductive success. PMID:22285395

  3. Stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen in the study of organochlorine contaminants in albatrosses and petrels.

    PubMed

    Colabuono, Fernanda I; Barquete, Viviane; Taniguchi, Satie; Ryan, Peter G; Montone, Rosalinda C

    2014-06-15

    Carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes in albatrosses and petrels collected off southern Brazil were compared with concentrations of organochlorine contaminants (OCs). δ(13)C and δ(15)N values, as well as OCs concentrations, exhibited a high degree of variability among individuals and overlap among species. δ(13)C values reflected latitudinal differences among species, with lower values found in Wandering and Tristan Albatrosses and higher values found in Black-browed and Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatrosses and White-chinned Petrels. Some relationships were found between OCs and stable isotopes, but in general a partial 'uncoupling' was observed between OCs concentrations and stable isotopes ratios (especially for δ(15)N). δ(13)C and δ(15)N values in Procellariiformes tissues during the non-breeding season appear to be a better indicator of foraging habitats than of trophic relationships, which may partially explain the high degree of variability between concentrations of OCs and stable isotopes ratios in birds with a diversified diet and wide foraging range. PMID:24766898

  4. Unexpected hydrogen isotope variation in oceanic pelagic seabirds.

    PubMed

    Ostrom, Peggy H; Wiley, Anne E; Rossman, Sam; Stricker, Craig A; James, Helen F

    2014-08-01

    Hydrogen isotopes have significantly enhanced our understanding of the biogeography of migratory animals. The basis for this methodology lies in predictable, continental patterns of precipitation δD values that are often reflected in an organism's tissues. δD variation is not expected for oceanic pelagic organisms whose dietary hydrogen (water and organic hydrogen in prey) is transferred up the food web from an isotopically homogeneous water source. We report a 142‰ range in the δD values of flight feathers from the Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis), an oceanic pelagic North Pacific species, and inquire about the source of that variation. We show δD variation between and within four other oceanic pelagic species: Newell's shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newellii), Black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) and Buller's shearwater (Puffinus bulleri). The similarity between muscle δD values of hatch-year Hawaiian petrels and their prey suggests that trophic fractionation does not influence δD values of muscle. We hypothesize that isotopic discrimination is associated with water loss during salt excretion through salt glands. Salt load differs between seabirds that consume isosmotic squid and crustaceans and those that feed on hyposmotic teleost fish. In support of the salt gland hypothesis, we show an inverse relationship between δD and percent teleost fish in diet for three seabird species. Our results demonstrate the utility of δD in the study of oceanic consumers, while also contributing to a better understanding of δD systematics, the basis for one of the most commonly utilized isotope tools in avian ecology. PMID:24989118

  5. Revisiting Lévy flight search patterns of wandering albatrosses, bumblebees and deer.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Andrew M; Phillips, Richard A; Watkins, Nicholas W; Freeman, Mervyn P; Murphy, Eugene J; Afanasyev, Vsevolod; Buldyrev, Sergey V; da Luz, M G E; Raposo, E P; Stanley, H Eugene; Viswanathan, Gandhimohan M

    2007-10-25

    The study of animal foraging behaviour is of practical ecological importance, and exemplifies the wider scientific problem of optimizing search strategies. Lévy flights are random walks, the step lengths of which come from probability distributions with heavy power-law tails, such that clusters of short steps are connected by rare long steps. Lévy flights display fractal properties, have no typical scale, and occur in physical and chemical systems. An attempt to demonstrate their existence in a natural biological system presented evidence that wandering albatrosses perform Lévy flights when searching for prey on the ocean surface. This well known finding was followed by similar inferences about the search strategies of deer and bumblebees. These pioneering studies have triggered much theoretical work in physics (for example, refs 11, 12), as well as empirical ecological analyses regarding reindeer, microzooplankton, grey seals, spider monkeys and fishing boats. Here we analyse a new, high-resolution data set of wandering albatross flights, and find no evidence for Lévy flight behaviour. Instead we find that flight times are gamma distributed, with an exponential decay for the longest flights. We re-analyse the original albatross data using additional information, and conclude that the extremely long flights, essential for demonstrating Lévy flight behaviour, were spurious. Furthermore, we propose a widely applicable method to test for power-law distributions using likelihood and Akaike weights. We apply this to the four original deer and bumblebee data sets, finding that none exhibits evidence of Lévy flights, and that the original graphical approach is insufficient. Such a graphical approach has been adopted to conclude Lévy flight movement for other organisms, and to propose Lévy flight analysis as a potential real-time ecosystem monitoring tool. Our results question the strength of the empirical evidence for biological Lévy flights. PMID:17960243

  6. Revisiting Lévy flight search patterns of wandering albatrosses, bumblebees and deer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edwards, Andrew M.; Phillips, Richard A.; Watkins, Nicholas W.; Freeman, Mervyn P.; Murphy, Eugene J.; Afanasyev, Vsevolod; Buldyrev, Sergey V.; da Luz, M. G. E.; Raposo, E. P.; Stanley, H. Eugene; Viswanathan, Gandhimohan M.

    2007-10-01

    The study of animal foraging behaviour is of practical ecological importance, and exemplifies the wider scientific problem of optimizing search strategies. Lévy flights are random walks, the step lengths of which come from probability distributions with heavy power-law tails, such that clusters of short steps are connected by rare long steps. Lévy flights display fractal properties, have no typical scale, and occur in physical and chemical systems. An attempt to demonstrate their existence in a natural biological system presented evidence that wandering albatrosses perform Lévy flights when searching for prey on the ocean surface. This well known finding was followed by similar inferences about the search strategies of deer and bumblebees. These pioneering studies have triggered much theoretical work in physics (for example, refs 11, 12), as well as empirical ecological analyses regarding reindeer, microzooplankton, grey seals, spider monkeys and fishing boats. Here we analyse a new, high-resolution data set of wandering albatross flights, and find no evidence for Lévy flight behaviour. Instead we find that flight times are gamma distributed, with an exponential decay for the longest flights. We re-analyse the original albatross data using additional information, and conclude that the extremely long flights, essential for demonstrating Lévy flight behaviour, were spurious. Furthermore, we propose a widely applicable method to test for power-law distributions using likelihood and Akaike weights. We apply this to the four original deer and bumblebee data sets, finding that none exhibits evidence of Lévy flights, and that the original graphical approach is insufficient. Such a graphical approach has been adopted to conclude Lévy flight movement for other organisms, and to propose Lévy flight analysis as a potential real-time ecosystem monitoring tool. Our results question the strength of the empirical evidence for biological Lévy flights.

  7. How do albatrosses fly around the world without flapping their wings?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richardson, Philip L.

    2011-01-01

    Albatrosses fly long distances over the Southern Ocean, even around the world, almost without flapping their wings; this has raised interest in how they perform such a feat. On a cruise to the South Atlantic I observed albatrosses soaring in a characteristic swooping zigzag flight that appears to combine two soaring techniques to gain energy-wind-shear soaring (dynamic soaring) using the vertical gradient of wind velocity and wave-slope soaring using updrafts over waves. The observed characteristic swooping flight is shown in a new illustration and interpreted in terms of the two soaring techniques. The energy gain estimated for “typical conditions” in the Southern Ocean suggests that wind-shear soaring provides around 80-90% of the total energy required for sustained soaring. A much smaller percentage is provided by wind shear in light winds and significant swell when wave-slope soaring dominates. A simple dynamical model of wind-shear soaring is proposed based on the concept of a bird flying across a sharp wind-shear layer as first described by Lord Rayleigh in 1883 and later developed with Pennycuick’s (2002) description of albatrosses “gust soaring.” In gust soaring a bird exploits structures in the wind field, such as separated boundary layers and eddies in the lee of wave crests, to obtain energy by climbing headed upwind and descending headed downwind across a thin wind-shear layer. Benefits of the model are that it is simple to understand, it captures the essential dynamics of wind-shear soaring, and it provides reasonable estimates of the minimum wind shear required for travel velocity in different directions with respect to the wind. Travel velocities, given in a travel velocity polar diagram, can be combined with tacking to fly in an upwind direction faster than the wind speed located at the top of the wind-shear layer.

  8. Vultures of the seas: hyperacidic stomachs in wandering albatrosses as an adaptation to dispersed food resources, including fishery wastes.

    PubMed

    Grémillet, David; Prudor, Aurélien; le Maho, Yvon; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2012-01-01

    Animals are primarily limited by their capacity to acquire food, yet digestive performance also conditions energy acquisition, and ultimately fitness. Optimal foraging theory predicts that organisms feeding on patchy resources should maximize their food loads within each patch, and should digest these loads quickly to minimize travelling costs between food patches. We tested the prediction of high digestive performance in wandering albatrosses, which can ingest prey of up to 3 kg, and feed on highly dispersed food resources across the southern ocean. GPS-tracking of 40 wandering albatrosses from the Crozet archipelago during the incubation phase confirmed foraging movements of between 475-4705 km, which give birds access to a variety of prey, including fishery wastes. Moreover, using miniaturized, autonomous data recorders placed in the stomach of three birds, we performed the first-ever measurements of gastric pH and temperature in procellariformes. These revealed surprisingly low pH levels (average 1.50±0.13), markedly lower than in other seabirds, and comparable to those of vultures feeding on carrion. Such low stomach pH gives wandering albatrosses a strategic advantage since it allows them a rapid chemical breakdown of ingested food and therefore a rapid digestion. This is useful for feeding on patchy, natural prey, but also on fishery wastes, which might be an important additional food resource for wandering albatrosses. PMID:22701581

  9. Differences in metabolic costs of terrestrial mobility in two closely related species of albatross.

    PubMed

    Kabat, Alexander P; Phillips, Richard A; Croxall, John P; Butler, Patrick J

    2007-08-01

    Black-browed albatrosses Thalassarche melanophrys typically colonise steeper habitats than grey-headed albatrosses T. chrysostoma. The present study investigated the effect of colony philopatry on terrestrial locomotory ability in these two species, to determine: (1) if there is a difference in terrestrial locomotory ability between these two closely related species, and (2) what physiological or behavioural adaptations may account for any differences identified. We examined the metabolic cost, mechanical efficiency on an incline, and gait characteristics of terrestrial locomotion of these two species on both level and inclined planes. T. chrysostoma were able to perform at a significantly greater speed than T. melanophrys without reaching a significantly different maximal rate of oxygen consumption (V(O(2))). Conversely, T. melanophrys were able to move up a significantly steeper incline than T. chrysostoma while maintaining a similar maximal V(O(2)). Each species demonstrates stride length, force production (behavioural) and leg length (morphological) adaptations that minimise the cost of traversing their chosen colonies, indicating a clear relationship between terrestrial performance and local topography. However, it is not possible to determine if the difference in locomotory ability results from differences in colony topography, or if choice of colony site is dictated by the ability of the species to traverse different terrain. PMID:17690233

  10. Predicting the distribution of a threatened albatross: The importance of competition, fisheries and annual variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Catry, P.; Lemos, R. T.; Brickle, P.; Phillips, R. A.; Matias, R.; Granadeiro, J. P.

    2013-03-01

    The ability to predict the distribution of threatened marine predators is essential to inform spatially explicit seascape management. We tracked 99 individual black-browed albatrosses Thalassarche melanophris from two Falkland Islands’ colonies in 2 years. We modeled the observed distribution of foraging activity taking environmental variables, fisheries activity (derived from vessel monitoring system data), accessibility to feeding grounds and intra-specific competition into account. The resulting models had sufficient generality to make reasonable predictions for different years and colonies, which allows temporal and spatial variation to be incorporated into the decision making process by managers for regions and seasons where available information is incomplete. We also illustrated that long-ranging birds from colonies separated by as little as 75 km can show important spatial segregation at sea, invalidating direct or uncorrected extrapolation from one colony to neighboring ones. Fisheries had limited influence on albatross distribution, despite the well known scavenging behavior of these birds. The models developed here have potentially wide application to the identification of sensitive geographical areas where special management practices (such as fisheries closures) could be implemented, and would predict how these areas are likely to move with annual and seasonal changes in environmental conditions.

  11. Albatrosses following fishing vessels: how badly hooked are they on an easy meal?

    PubMed

    Granadeiro, José P; Phillips, Richard A; Brickle, Paul; Catry, Paulo

    2011-01-01

    Fisheries have major impacts on seabirds, both by changing food availability and by causing direct mortality of birds during trawling and longline setting. However, little is known about the nature and the spatial-temporal extent of the interactions between individual birds and vessels. By studying a system in which we had fine-scale data on bird movements and activity, and near real-time information on vessel distribution, we provide new insights on the association of a threatened albatross with fisheries. During early chick-rearing, black-browed albatrosses Thalassarche melanophris from two different colonies (separated by only 75 km) showed significant differences in the degree of association with fisheries, despite being nearly equidistant to the Falklands fishing fleet. Most foraging trips from either colony did not bring tracked individuals close to vessels, and proportionally little time and foraging effort was spent near ships. Nevertheless, a few individuals repeatedly visited fishing vessels, which may indicate they specialise on fisheries-linked food sources and so are potentially more vulnerable to bycatch. The evidence suggests that this population has little reliance on fisheries discards at a critical stage of its nesting cycle, and hence measures to limit fisheries waste on the Patagonian shelf that also reduce vessel attractiveness and the risk of incidental mortality, would be of high overall conservation benefit. PMID:21399696

  12. Demographic Responses to Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in the Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans)

    PubMed Central

    Costantini, David; Goutte, Aurelie; Barbraud, Christophe; Faivre, Bruno; Sorci, Gabriele; Weimerskirch, Henri; Delord, Karine; Chastel, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    One of the major challenges in ecological research is the elucidation of physiological mechanisms that underlie the demographic traits of wild animals. We have assessed whether a marker of plasma oxidative stress (TBARS) and plasma haptoglobin (protein of the acute inflammatory phase response) measured at time t predict five demographic parameters (survival rate, return rate to the breeding colony, breeding probability, hatching and fledging success) in sexually mature wandering albatrosses over the next four years (Diomedea exulans) using a five-year individual-based dataset. Non-breeder males, but not females, having higher TBARS at time t had reduced future breeding probabilities; haptoglobin was not related to breeding probability. Neither TBARS nor haptoglobin predicted future hatching or fledging success. Haptoglobin had a marginally positive effect on female survival rate, while TBARS had a marginally negative effect on return rate. Our findings do not support the role for oxidative stress as a constraint of future reproductive success in the albatross. However, our data point to a potential mechanism underlying some aspects of reproductive senescence and survival. Our results also highlight that the study of the consequences of oxidative stress should consider the life-cycle stage of an individual and its reproductive history. PMID:26275171

  13. Perfluorooctane sulfonate in fish-eating water birds including bald eagles and albatrosses

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kannan, K.; Franson, J.C.; Bowerman, W.W.; Hansen, K.J.; Jones, P.D.; Giesy, J.P.

    2001-01-01

    Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) was measured in 161 samples of liver, kidney, blood, or egg yolk from 21 species of fish-eating water birds collected in the United States including albatrosses from Sand Island, Midway Atoll, in the central North Pacific Ocean. Concentrations of PFOS in the blood plasma of bald eagles collected from the midwestern United States ranged from 13 to 2220 ng/mL (mean: 330 ng/mL), except one sample that did not contain quantifiable concentrations of PFOS. Concentrations of PFOS were greater in blood plasma than in whole blood. Among 82 livers from various species of birds from inland or coastal U.S. locations, Brandt's cormorant from San Diego, CA, contained the greatest concentration of PFOS (1780 ng/g, wet wt). PFOS was also found in the sera of albatrosses from the central North Pacific Ocean at concentrations ranging from 3 to 34 ng/mL. Occurrence of PFOS in birds from remote marine locations suggests widespread distribution of PFOS and related fluorochemicals in the environment.

  14. Demographic Responses to Oxidative Stress and Inflammation in the Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans).

    PubMed

    Costantini, David; Goutte, Aurelie; Barbraud, Christophe; Faivre, Bruno; Sorci, Gabriele; Weimerskirch, Henri; Delord, Karine; Chastel, Olivier

    2015-01-01

    One of the major challenges in ecological research is the elucidation of physiological mechanisms that underlie the demographic traits of wild animals. We have assessed whether a marker of plasma oxidative stress (TBARS) and plasma haptoglobin (protein of the acute inflammatory phase response) measured at time t predict five demographic parameters (survival rate, return rate to the breeding colony, breeding probability, hatching and fledging success) in sexually mature wandering albatrosses over the next four years (Diomedea exulans) using a five-year individual-based dataset. Non-breeder males, but not females, having higher TBARS at time t had reduced future breeding probabilities; haptoglobin was not related to breeding probability. Neither TBARS nor haptoglobin predicted future hatching or fledging success. Haptoglobin had a marginally positive effect on female survival rate, while TBARS had a marginally negative effect on return rate. Our findings do not support the role for oxidative stress as a constraint of future reproductive success in the albatross. However, our data point to a potential mechanism underlying some aspects of reproductive senescence and survival. Our results also highlight that the study of the consequences of oxidative stress should consider the life-cycle stage of an individual and its reproductive history. PMID:26275171

  15. Postmigratory body condition and ovarian steroid production predict breeding decisions by female gray-headed albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Crossin, Glenn T; Phillips, Richard A; Wynne-Edwards, Katherine E; Williams, Tony D

    2013-01-01

    Carryover effects have been documented in many migratory bird species, but we know little about the physiological mechanisms that mediate those effects. Here we show that the energetic, endocrine, and aerobic characteristics of postmigratory female gray-headed albatrosses (Thalassarche chrysostoma) can affect their decision to breed. All females in this study, whether breeding or not, were secreting ovarian steroids when they arrived at the breeding colony at Bird Island, South Georgia, which suggests that all were responding to seasonal cues. However, deferring, nonbreeding birds were characterized by a steroid profile of high progesterone (P4) and low testosterone (T), whereas breeding birds showed the opposite pattern. Deferring birds also had low body mass, hematocrit, and hemoglobin. These results suggest that postmigratory condition can influence patterns of ovarian steroidogenesis and that the maintenance of high P4 without subsequent conversion to T favors breeding deferral. Whereas breeding females normally convert P4 to T, which is a key deterministic step toward 17β-estradiol synthesis, vitellogenesis, and follicle development, deferring females did not make this conversion and instead maintained high levels of P4, perhaps due to inhibition of the hydroxylase-lyase enzyme complex, thus rendering them infertile for the current season. Results are discussed within the context of the biennial breeding system of this species, and comparisons with other biennially and annually breeding albatrosses are made. PMID:24241072

  16. Use of marine space by Black-browed albatrosses during the non-breeding season in the Southwest Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Copello, Sofía; Seco Pon, Juan Pablo; Favero, Marco

    2013-05-01

    Marine birds like albatrosses have shown a profound deterioration of their conservation status in recent years. The Black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) is the most abundant threatened albatross species in the Southwest Atlantic continental shelf. Declines in their breeding populations have been largely attributed to the impact of incidental mortality in fisheries. Data on at-sea distribution for the species during breeding is abundant, but movements of individuals during winter are poorly known. Here, we investigate the at-sea distribution of Black-browed albatrosses during the non-breeding seasons 2011 and 2012. Eleven adult individuals were captured at-sea and equipped with satellite tags. Distribution of tracked Black-browed albatrosses was mostly restricted to waters within the continental shelf of Argentina, Uruguay and southern Brazil; from 29° to 51°S. Two large marine areas, comprising the ca. 90% of the core area (50% utilization distribution) were identified; one from the mouth of Rio de la Plata toward the E and SE reaching the shelfbreak, and another in El Rincón estuary and waters to the South. Tracked birds were distributed over nine oceanographic regimes in the SW Atlantic continental shelf, spending between 5 and 34% of their time at sea in marine fronts of high productivity such as Río de la Plata, Los Patos lagoon estuary front, the shelfbreak and the mixed front. The identified core areas could be considered as proxy indicators of priority areas at the time of implementing conservation measures for the species. The analysis of overlapping with fisheries on the Argentinean Continental Shelf will provide further insights about critical areas where those measures should be more stringent.

  17. Risk Factors for Seabird Bycatch in a Pelagic Longline Tuna Fishery

    PubMed Central

    Gilman, Eric; Chaloupka, Milani; Peschon, John; Ellgen, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Capture in global pelagic longline fisheries threatens the viability of some seabird populations. The Hawaii longline tuna fishery annually catches hundreds of seabirds, primarily Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis) and black-footed (P. nigripes) albatrosses. Since seabird regulations were introduced in 2001, the seabird catch rate has declined 74%. However, over the past decade, seabird catch levels significantly increased due to significant increasing trends in both effort and nominal seabird catch rates. We modelled observer data using a spatio-temporal generalized additive mixed model with zero-inflated Poisson likelihood to determine the significance of the effect of various risk factors on the seabird catch rate. The seabird catch rate significantly increased as annual mean multivariate ENSO index values increased, suggesting that decreasing ocean productivity observed in recent years in the central north Pacific may have contributed to the increasing trend in nominal seabird catch rate. A significant increasing trend in number of albatrosses attending vessels, possibly linked to declining regional ocean productivity and increasing absolute abundance of black-footed albatrosses, may also have contributed to the increasing nominal seabird catch rate. Largest opportunities for reductions are through augmented efficacy of seabird bycatch mitigation north of 23° N where mitigation methods are required and during setting instead of during hauling. Both side vs. stern setting, and blue-dyed vs. untreated bait significantly reduced the seabird catch rate. Of two options for meeting regulatory requirements, side setting had a significantly lower seabird catch rate than blue-dyed bait. There was significant spatio-temporal and seasonal variation in the risk of seabird capture with highest catch rates in April and May and to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands. PMID:27192492

  18. Risk Factors for Seabird Bycatch in a Pelagic Longline Tuna Fishery.

    PubMed

    Gilman, Eric; Chaloupka, Milani; Peschon, John; Ellgen, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Capture in global pelagic longline fisheries threatens the viability of some seabird populations. The Hawaii longline tuna fishery annually catches hundreds of seabirds, primarily Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis) and black-footed (P. nigripes) albatrosses. Since seabird regulations were introduced in 2001, the seabird catch rate has declined 74%. However, over the past decade, seabird catch levels significantly increased due to significant increasing trends in both effort and nominal seabird catch rates. We modelled observer data using a spatio-temporal generalized additive mixed model with zero-inflated Poisson likelihood to determine the significance of the effect of various risk factors on the seabird catch rate. The seabird catch rate significantly increased as annual mean multivariate ENSO index values increased, suggesting that decreasing ocean productivity observed in recent years in the central north Pacific may have contributed to the increasing trend in nominal seabird catch rate. A significant increasing trend in number of albatrosses attending vessels, possibly linked to declining regional ocean productivity and increasing absolute abundance of black-footed albatrosses, may also have contributed to the increasing nominal seabird catch rate. Largest opportunities for reductions are through augmented efficacy of seabird bycatch mitigation north of 23° N where mitigation methods are required and during setting instead of during hauling. Both side vs. stern setting, and blue-dyed vs. untreated bait significantly reduced the seabird catch rate. Of two options for meeting regulatory requirements, side setting had a significantly lower seabird catch rate than blue-dyed bait. There was significant spatio-temporal and seasonal variation in the risk of seabird capture with highest catch rates in April and May and to the northwest of the main Hawaiian Islands. PMID:27192492

  19. Changes in wind pattern alter albatross distribution and life-history traits.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Louzao, Maite; de Grissac, Sophie; Delord, Karine

    2012-01-13

    Westerly winds in the Southern Ocean have increased in intensity and moved poleward. Using long-term demographic and foraging records, we show that foraging range in wandering albatrosses has shifted poleward in conjunction with these changes in wind pattern, while their rates of travel and flight speeds have increased. Consequently, the duration of foraging trips has decreased, breeding success has improved, and birds have increased in mass by more than 1 kilogram. These positive consequences of climate change may be temporary if patterns of wind in the southern westerlies follow predicted climate change scenarios. This study stresses the importance of foraging performance as the key link between environmental changes and population processes. PMID:22246774

  20. Avian disease assessment in seabirds and non-native passerines birds at Midway Atoll NWR

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LaPointe, Dennis A.; Atkinson, Carter T.; Klavitter, John L.

    2013-01-01

    Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands supports the largest breeding colony of Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) in the world and is a proposed site for the translocation of endangered Northwestern Hawaiian Island passerine birds such as the Nihoa finch (Telespiza ultima), Nihoa millerbird (Acrocephalus familiaris kingi), or Laysan finch (Telespiza cantans). On the main Hawaiian Islands, introduced mosquito-borne avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) and avian pox (Avipoxvirus) have contributed to the extinction and decline of native Hawaiian avifauna. The mosquito vector (Culex quinquefasciatus) is present on Sand Island, Midway Atoll, where epizootics of Avipoxvirus have been reported among nestling Laysan albatross, black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), and red-tailed tropicbirds (Phaethon rubricauda) since 1963. Two introduced passerines, the common canary (Serinus canaria) and the common myna (Acridotheres tristis), are also present on Sand Island and may serve as reservoirs of mosquito-borne pathogens. Assessing disease prevalence and transmission potential at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is a critical first step to translocation of Nihoa endemic passerines. In May 2010 and April 2012 we surveyed Midway Atoll NWR for mosquitoes and evidence of mosquito-borne disease. Although we did not observe active pox infections on albatross nestlings in May 2010, active infections were prevalent on albatross nestlings in April 2012. Presumptive diagnosis of Avipoxvirus was confirmed by PCR amplification of the Avipoxvirus 4b core protein gene from lesions collected from 10 albatross nestlings. Products were sequenced and compared to 4b core protein sequences from 28 Avipoxvirus isolates from the Hawaiian Islands and other parts of the world. Sequences from all Midway isolates were identical and formed a clade with other Avipoxvirus isolates from seabirds that was distinct from other Avipoxvirus isolates from the Hawaiian Islands

  1. Impact of changing wind conditions on foraging and incubation success in male and female wandering albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Cornioley, Tina; Börger, Luca; Ozgul, Arpat; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2016-09-01

    Wind is an important climatic factor for flying animals as by affecting their locomotion, it can deeply impact their life-history characteristics. In the context of globally changing wind patterns, we investigated the mechanisms underlying recently reported increase in body mass of a population of wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) with increasing wind speed over time. We built a foraging model detailing the effects of wind on movement statistics and ultimately on mass gained by the forager and mass lost by the incubating partner. We then simulated the body mass of incubating pairs under varying wind scenarios. We tracked the frequency at which critical mass leading to nest abandonment was reached to assess incubation success. We found that wandering albatrosses behave as time minimizers during incubation as mass gain was independent of any movement statistics but decreased with increasing mass at departure. Individuals forage until their energy requirements, which are determined by their body conditions, are fulfilled. This can come at the cost of their partner's condition as mass loss of the incubating partner depended on trip duration. This behaviour is consistent with strategies of long-lived species which favoured their own survival over their current reproductive attempt. In addition, wind speed increased ground speed which in turn reduced trip duration and males foraged further away than females at high ground speed. Contrasted against an independent data set, the simulation performed satisfactorily for males but less so for females under current wind conditions. The simulation predicted an increase in male body mass growth rate with increasing wind speed, whereas females' rate decreased. This trend may provide an explanation for the observed increase in mass of males but not of females. Conversely, the simulation predicted very few nest abandonments, which is in line with the high breeding success of this species and is contrary to the hypothesis that

  2. A new perspective on the growth pattern of the Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) through DEB theory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Teixeira, Carlos M. G. L.; Sousa, Tânia; Marques, Gonçalo M.; Domingos, Tiago; Kooijman, Sebastiaan A. L. M.

    2014-11-01

    The Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) and other seabirds exhibit a growing pattern that includes a period of body mass decrease before fledging. Several hypotheses have been suggested to explain it without success. We hypothesized that: 1) chicks and adults have similar metabolic traits regulating assimilation, growth and maturation; 2) there is a difference in locomotion effort between chicks and adults, and 3) chicks are exposed to a decline in food availability before fledging. This set of hypotheses allows for an energy surplus to be available and stored in reserve during the first months of development, explaining the mass recession that starts before fledging and the fact that adults keep a lower weight than fledglings, throughout the rest of their life span. To test this set of hypotheses we applied the Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) theory. Using a small set of life-history traits and growth curves we parameterized the DEB standard model. We confirmed this set of hypotheses and estimated the pattern of decline in food availability that explains mass recession. An assessment of the daily energy intake was also performed. The implications related to that energy flux and diet composition are discussed based on current knowledge. The DEB model for the Wandering Albatross also provided estimates for the adult daily food ingested by adults (464.06 kJ kg- 1 d- 1), fasting capacity (25 d), Field Metabolic Rate (4.29 W kg- 1) and resting metabolic rate (2.87 W kg- 1). These values are consistent with the averages obtained in the field, suggesting that DEB may be useful to provide good estimations on a broader scale.

  3. Influence of age, sex and breeding status on mercury accumulation patterns in the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans.

    PubMed

    Tavares, S; Xavier, J C; Phillips, R A; Pereira, M E; Pardal, M A

    2013-10-01

    Although mercury bio-amplifies through the food chain and accumulates in top predators, mercury concentrations in tissues of the wandering albatross are greater than in any other vertebrate, including closely related species. In order to explore the alternative explanations for this pattern, we measured total mercury concentrations in feathers, plasma and blood cells of wandering albatrosses of known age, sex and breeding status sampled at South Georgia. Mercury concentrations were low in feathers and blood components of chicks, and higher in the feathers of young pre-breeders than in feathers or blood of older pre-breeders and breeding adults. There was no effect of sex on mercury concentrations in the feathers of pre-breeders or breeding adults, whereas levels were significantly higher in blood cells of breeding females than males. The high feather mercury concentrations of young pre-breeders compared with older birds suggest an increase in moult frequency as birds approach maturity. PMID:23859845

  4. The seabird paradox: dispersal, genetic structure and population dynamics in a highly mobile, but philopatric albatross species.

    PubMed

    Milot, Emmanuel; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bernatchez, Louis

    2008-04-01

    The philopatric behaviour of albatrosses has intrigued biologists due to the high mobility of these seabirds. It is unknown how albatrosses maintain a system of fragmented populations without frequent dispersal movements, in spite of the long-term temporal heterogeneity in resource distribution at sea. We used both genetic (amplified fragment length polymorphism) and capture-mark-recapture (CMR) data to identify explicitly which among several models of population dynamics best applies to the wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) and to test for migration-drift equilibrium. We previously documented an extremely low genetic diversity in this species. Here, we show that populations exhibit little genetic differentiation across the species' range (Theta(B) < 0.05, where Theta(B) is an F(ST) analogue). Furthermore, there was no evidence of hierarchical structure or isolation-by-distance. Wright's F(ST) between pairs of colonies were low in general and the pattern was consistent with a nonequilibrium genetic model. In contrast, CMR data collected over the last decades indicated that about one bird per cohort has dispersed among islands. Overall, F(ST) values were not indicative of contemporary dispersal as inferred from CMR data. Moreover, all genotypes grouped together in a cluster analysis, indicating that current colonies may have derived from one ancestral source that had a low genetic diversity. A metapopulation dynamics model including a recent (postglacial) colonization of several islands seems consistent with both the very low levels of genetic diversity and structure within the wandering albatross. Yet, our data suggest that several other factors including ongoing gene flow, recurrent long-distance dispersal and source-sink dynamics have contributed to different extent in shaping the genetic signature observed in this species. Our results show that an absence of genetic structuring may in itself reveal little about the true population dynamics in seabirds, but

  5. Demographic rates of northern royal albatross at Taiaroa Head, New Zealand

    PubMed Central

    Perriman, Lyndon; Lalas, Chris; Abraham, Edward R.

    2015-01-01

    Demographic rates, such as annual survival rate, are generally difficult to estimate for long-lived seabirds, because of the length of time required for this kind of study and the remoteness of colonies. However, a small colony of northern royal albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) established itself on the mainland of New Zealand at Taiaroa Head, making possible regular banding and monitoring of its individuals since the first chick fledged, in 1938. Data on the presence/absence of birds, as well as on breeding outcomes, were available for the period from 1989–90 to 2011–12, and included 2128 annual resightings of 355 banded individuals of known age. The main goal of the present study was to estimate the annual survival rate of juveniles, pre-breeders, and adults at Taiaroa Head. These rates were estimated simultaneously in a single Bayesian multi-state capture-recapture model. Several models were fitted to the data, with different levels of complexity. From the most parsimonious model, the overall annual adult survival rate was estimated as 0.950 (95% CI [0.941–0.959]). In this model, adult survival declined with age, from 0.976 (95% CI [0.963–0.988]) at 6 years, the minimum age at first breeding, to 0.915 (95% CI [0.879–0.946]) at 40 years. Mean annual survival of pre-breeders was 0.966 (95% CI [0.950–0.980]), and 0.933 (95% CI [0.908–0.966]) for juveniles. There was no discernible difference in survival between males and females, and there was no apparent trend in survival over time. Estimates of other demographic rates were also obtained during the estimation process. The mean age at first return of juveniles to the colony was estimated as 4.8 years (95% CI [4.6–5.1]), and the mean age at first breeding as 8.9 years (95% CI [8.5–9.3]). Because all the birds of the colony were banded, it was possible to estimate the total population size. The number of northern royal albatross present annually at the Taiaroa Head colony has doubled since 1989–90

  6. A comparison of indirect measures of feeding behaviour based on ARGOS tracking data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robinson, P. W.; Tremblay, Y.; Crocker, D. E.; Kappes, M. A.; Kuhn, C. E.; Shaffer, S. A.; Simmons, S. E.; Costa, D. P.

    2007-02-01

    ARGOS tracking data are frequently used to infer feeding locations of marine predators. Most track-based methods rely on the assumption that feeding takes place within regions of area-restricted search (ARS); however, it is unclear whether the spatial accuracy and temporal resolution of ARGOS-quality data are sufficient to extract the location of ARSs at the resolution of individual feeding bouts. Using ARGOS tracking data from northern elephant seals ( Mirounga angustirostris) and Laysan albatrosses ( Phoebastria immutabilis), we tested several track-based estimators of feeding locations against independent feeding proxies (dive type or shape and number of landing events). The track-based methods were: turn angle, transit rate, first-passage time, and fractal dimension. None of these methods provided a reliable estimate of putative feeding activity at the species level, as measured by dive-type analysis or landing events. At the individual level, variation in agreement between track-based estimates and feeding proxies highlighted the importance of considering the effect of spatial scale. Biological justification of track-based metrics should be more carefully assessed before assigning particular functions to individual tracks (feeding/foraging/searching/transit) or groups of tracks (biological hotspots).

  7. 76 FR 62503 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 12-Month Finding on a Petition To List the Black...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-10-07

    ...We, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), announce a 12-month finding on a petition to list the black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended (Act). The petitioners provided three listing options for consideration by the Service: Listing the black- footed albatross throughout its range; listing the......

  8. Spatial overlap of Black-browed albatrosses with longline and trawl fisheries in the Patagonian Shelf during the non-breeding season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Copello, Sofía; Seco Pon, Juan Pablo; Favero, Marco

    2014-05-01

    Incidental mortality in fisheries is the main at-sea threat albatrosses are facing nowadays. In this study we used remote sensing techniques to model the degree of spatial overlapping between the Black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris) and Argentine fisheries, assuming this as a proxy of risk for albatrosses. Eleven tags were deployed on albatrosses during the non-breeding seasons 2011 and 2012 in the Patagonian Shelf. Their distribution overlapped to different extents with the two coastal trawl, three offshore trawl and one demersal longline fisheries. The overlap index showed highest values with both coastal fleets, followed by the ice-chilling trawl fleet. These intersections were located in the Argentinean-Uruguayan Common Fishing Zone, in coastal areas of the SE of Buenos Aires province, El Rincón estuary and over the shelf break. The analysis of intersections of focal areas from albatrosses and all fisheries allowed the identification of thirty-four fishing management units (1° by 1° grid within the Argentine EEZ) classified as of medium, high or very high conservation priority. Very high priority units were placed between 35 and 38°S in the external mouth of Rio de la Plata, and between 45 and 47°S in neighboring waters East to the hake fishing closure. Although there were possible biases due to the limited number of tracked birds and the locations where albatrosses were captured and instrumented, the information presented in this study provides a comprehensive picture of important areas of overlapping during winter that could be used by the fishery administration to prioritize conservation actions under limited resource scenarios.

  9. Persistent synthetic chlorinated hydrocarbons in albatross tissue samples from Midway Atoll

    SciTech Connect

    Jones, P.D.; Hannah, D.J.; Buckland, S.J.

    1996-10-01

    Anthropogenic organic contaminants have been found in even the most remote locations. To assess the global distribution and possible effects of such contaminants, the authors examined the tissues of two species of albatross collected from Midway Atoll in the central North Pacific Ocean. These birds have an extensive feeding range covering much of the subtropical and northern Pacific Ocean. Anthropogenic contaminants were found at relatively great concentrations in these birds. The sum of 19 polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) congeners ranged from 177 ng/g wet weight in eggs to 2,750 ng/g wet weight in adult fat. Total toxic equivalents (TEQs) derived from polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs) ranged from 17.2 to 297 pg/g wet weight in the same tissues, while the inclusion of TEQs from PCBs increased these values to 48.4 and 769 pg/g wet weight, respectively. While contaminant concentrations varied between species and tissues, the contaminant profile was relatively uniform. The profile of contaminants detected was unusual in that much of the TEQs was contributed by two pentachlorinated congeners (2,3,4,7,8-pentachlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxin), and the profiles of PCB congeners did not match known sources. When compared to other studies the concentrations detected in the Midway Atoll samples were near or above the thresholds known to cause adverse effects in other fish-eating bird species.

  10. Organochlorine contaminants in albatrosses and petrels during migration in South Atlantic Ocean.

    PubMed

    Colabuono, Fernanda Imperatrice; Taniguchi, Satie; Montone, Rosalinda Carmela

    2012-02-01

    Albatrosses and petrels (Procellariiformes) are migratory oceanic birds of considerable conservational interest. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) were assessed in the subcutaneous fat, liver and muscle of 100 birds belonging to eight species of Procellariiformes collected during their migration period in southern Brazil, one of the most important feeding areas for these species. Although the profiles of PCBs and OCPs were similar among the individuals, with predominance of penta, hexa and heptachlorobiphenyls and p'p-DDE, organochlorine concentrations exhibited a high degree of intra-species variability. The influence of body condition during the migration period in the distribution of organochlorine contaminants was also evaluated, showing that it is a significant factor in the variation and redistribution of these compounds in the tissues of these birds. The intense use of lipid reserves associated to the contamination from organochlorine compounds could be a troubling factor for seabirds with extended breeding periods and that spend most of their lives at sea migrating long distances, such as most of Procellariiformes. Studies on contamination are necessary to improve the knowledge of the threats to these birds and their populations as well as to contribute with information about persistent organic pollutants in the South Atlantic marine environment. PMID:22169209

  11. Dual wavelength lidar observation of tropical high-altitude cirrus clouds during the ALBATROSS 1996 Campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Beyerle, G.; Schäfer, H.-J.; Neuber, R.; Schrems, O.; McDermid, I. S.

    Dual wavelength aerosol lidar observations of tropical high-altitude cirrus clouds were performed during the ALBATROSS 1996 campaign aboard the research vessel “POLARSTERN” on the Atlantic ocean in October-November 1996. On the basis of 57 hours of night-time observations between 23.5°N and 23.5°S we find in 72% of the altitude profiles indications of the presence of cirrus cloud layers. This percentage drops to 32% at subtropical latitudes (23.5°-30°) based on 15 hours of data. About one-half of the subtropical and tropical cirrus layers are subvisual with an optical depth of less than 0.03 at a wavelength of 532 nm. In general the clouds exhibit high spatial and temporal variability on scales of a few tens of meters vertically and a few hundred meters horizontally. No clouds are observed above the tropopause. An abrupt change in the relation between the color ratios of the parallel and perpendicular backscatter coefficients at about 240 K is interpreted in terms of changes of particle shape and/or size distribution. At temperatures between 195 and 255 K only a small fraction of the observations are consistent with the presence of small particles with dimensions of less than 0.1 µm.

  12. Seabird bycatch in pelagic longline fisheries is grossly underestimated when using only haul data.

    PubMed

    Brothers, Nigel; Duckworth, Alan R; Safina, Carl; Gilman, Eric L

    2010-01-01

    Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are killed each year as bycatch in longline fisheries. Seabirds are predominantly caught during line setting but bycatch is generally recorded during line hauling, many hours after birds are caught. Bird loss during this interval may lead to inaccurate bycatch information. In this 15 year study, seabird bycatch was recorded during both line setting and line hauling from four fishing regions: Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, Coral Sea and central Pacific Ocean. Over 43,000 albatrosses, petrels and skuas representing over 25 species were counted during line setting of which almost 6,000 seabirds attempted to take the bait. Bait-taking interactions were placed into one of four categories. (i) The majority (57%) of bait-taking attempts were "unsuccessful" involving seabirds that did not take the bait nor get caught or hooked. (ii) One-third of attempts were "successful" with seabirds removing the bait while not getting caught. (iii) One-hundred and seventy-six seabirds (3% of attempts) were observed being "caught" during line setting, with three albatross species - Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis), black-footed (P. nigripes) and black-browed (Thalassarche melanophrys)- dominating this category. However, of these, only 85 (48%) seabird carcasses were retrieved during line hauling. Most caught seabirds were hooked through the bill. (iv) The remainder of seabird-bait interactions (7%) was not clearly observed, but likely involved more "caught" seabirds. Bait taking attempts and percentage outcome (e.g. successful, caught) varied between seabird species and was not always related to species abundance around fishing vessels. Using only haul data to calculate seabird bycatch grossly underestimates actual bycatch levels, with the level of seabird bycatch from pelagic longline fishing possibly double what was previously thought. PMID:20824163

  13. Extreme variation in migration strategies between and within wandering albatross populations during their sabbatical year, and their fitness consequences

    PubMed Central

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Delord, Karine; Guitteaud, Audrey; Phillips, Richard A.; Pinet, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Migratory behavior, routes and zones used during the non-breeding season are assumed to have been selected to maximize fitness, and can lead to genetic differentiation. Yet, here we show that migration strategies differ markedly between and within two genetically similar populations of wandering albatross Diomedea exulans from the Crozet and Kerguelen archipelagos in the Indian Ocean. Wandering albatrosses usually breed biennially if successful, and during the sabbatical year, all birds from Kerguelen migrate to the Pacific Ocean, whereas most from Crozet are sedentary. Instead of taking the shortest routes, which would involve a return against headwinds, migratory birds fly with the westerly winds, requiring detours of 10,000 s km. In total, migrants circumnavigate Antarctica 2 to 3 times, covering more than 120,000 km in a single sabbatical year. Our results indicate strong links between migratory behavior and fitness; all birds from Kerguelen breed biennially, whereas a significant proportion of those from Crozet, especially females, are sedentary and breed in consecutive calendar years. To breed annually, these females temporarily change mate, but return to their original partner in the following year. This extreme variation in migratory behavior has important consequences in term of life history evolution and susceptibility to climate change and fisheries. PMID:25747757

  14. Extreme variation in migration strategies between and within wandering albatross populations during their sabbatical year, and their fitness consequences.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Delord, Karine; Guitteaud, Audrey; Phillips, Richard A; Pinet, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Migratory behavior, routes and zones used during the non-breeding season are assumed to have been selected to maximize fitness, and can lead to genetic differentiation. Yet, here we show that migration strategies differ markedly between and within two genetically similar populations of wandering albatross Diomedea exulans from the Crozet and Kerguelen archipelagos in the Indian Ocean. Wandering albatrosses usually breed biennially if successful, and during the sabbatical year, all birds from Kerguelen migrate to the Pacific Ocean, whereas most from Crozet are sedentary. Instead of taking the shortest routes, which would involve a return against headwinds, migratory birds fly with the westerly winds, requiring detours of 10,000 s km. In total, migrants circumnavigate Antarctica 2 to 3 times, covering more than 120,000 km in a single sabbatical year. Our results indicate strong links between migratory behavior and fitness; all birds from Kerguelen breed biennially, whereas a significant proportion of those from Crozet, especially females, are sedentary and breed in consecutive calendar years. To breed annually, these females temporarily change mate, but return to their original partner in the following year. This extreme variation in migratory behavior has important consequences in term of life history evolution and susceptibility to climate change and fisheries. PMID:25747757

  15. Wandering albatrosses document latitudinal variations in the transfer of persistent organic pollutants and mercury to Southern Ocean predators.

    PubMed

    Carravieri, Alice; Bustamante, Paco; Tartu, Sabrina; Meillère, Alizée; Labadie, Pierre; Budzinski, Hélène; Peluhet, Laurent; Barbraud, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri; Chastel, Olivier; Cherel, Yves

    2014-12-16

    Top marine predators are effective tools to monitor bioaccumulative contaminants in remote oceanic environments. Here, we used the wide-ranging wandering albatross Diomedea exulans to investigate potential geographical variations of contaminant transfer to predators in the Southern Ocean. Blood concentrations of 19 persistent organic pollutants and 14 trace elements were measured in a large number of individuals (N = 180) of known age, sex and breeding status from the subantarctic Crozet Islands. Wandering albatrosses were exposed to a wide range of contaminants, with notably high blood mercury concentrations. Contaminant burden was markedly influenced by latitudinal foraging habitats (inferred from blood δ(13)C values), with individuals feeding in warmer subtropical waters having lower concentrations of pesticides, but higher concentrations of mercury, than those feeding in colder subantarctic waters. Sexual differences in contaminant burden seemed to be driven by gender specialization in feeding habitats, rather than physiological characteristics, with females foraging further north than males. Other individual traits, such as adult age and reproductive status, had little effect on blood contaminant concentrations. Our study provides further evidence of the critical role of global distillation on organic contaminant exposure to Southern Ocean avian predators. In addition, we document an unexpected high transfer of mercury to predators in subtropical waters, which merits further investigation. PMID:25423551

  16. Will the Effects of Sea-Level Rise Create Ecological Traps for Pacific Island Seabirds?

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen N.; Berkowitz, Paul; Storlazzi, Curt D.; Moore, Janet; Flint, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    More than 18 million seabirds nest on 58 Pacific islands protected within vast U.S. Marine National Monuments (1.9 million km2). However, most of these seabird colonies are on low-elevation islands and sea-level rise (SLR) and accompanying high-water perturbations are predicted to escalate with climate change. To understand how SLR may impact protected islands and insular biodiversity, we modeled inundation and wave-driven flooding of a globally important seabird rookery in the subtropical Pacific. We acquired new high-resolution Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) and used the Delft3D wave model and ArcGIS to model wave heights and inundation for a range of SLR scenarios (+0.5, +1.0, +1.5, and +2.0 m) at Midway Atoll. Next, we classified vegetation to delineate habitat exposure to inundation and identified how breeding phenology, colony synchrony, and life history traits affect species-specific sensitivity. We identified 3 of 13 species as highly vulnerable to SLR in the Hawaiian Islands and quantified their atoll-wide distribution (Laysan albatross, Phoebastria immutabilis; black-footed albatross, P. nigripes; and Bonin petrel, Pterodroma hypoleuca). Our models of wave-driven flooding forecast nest losses up to 10% greater than passive inundation models at +1.0 m SLR. At projections of + 2.0 m SLR, approximately 60% of albatross and 44% of Bonin petrel nests were overwashed displacing more than 616,400 breeding albatrosses and petrels. Habitat loss due to passive SLR may decrease the carrying capacity of some islands to support seabird colonies, while sudden high-water events directly reduce survival and reproduction. This is the first study to simulate wave-driven flooding and the combined impacts of SLR, groundwater rise, and storm waves on seabird colonies. Our results highlight the need for early climate change planning and restoration of higher elevation seabird refugia to prevent low-lying protected islands from becoming ecological traps in the face of rising

  17. Age-related variation in reproductive traits in the wandering albatross: evidence for terminal improvement following senescence.

    PubMed

    Froy, Hannah; Phillips, Richard A; Wood, Andrew G; Nussey, Daniel H; Lewis, Sue

    2013-05-01

    The processes driving age-related variation in demographic rates are central to understanding population and evolutionary ecology. An increasing number of studies in wild vertebrates find evidence for improvements in reproductive performance traits in early adulthood, followed by senescent declines in later life. However, life history theory predicts that reproductive investment should increase with age as future survival prospects diminish, and that raised reproductive investment may have associated survival costs. These non-mutually exclusive processes both predict an increase in breeding performance at the terminal breeding attempt. Here, we use a 30-year study of wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) to disentangle the processes underpinning age-related variation in reproduction. Whilst highlighting the importance of breeding experience, we reveal senescent declines in performance are followed by a striking increase in breeding success and a key parental investment trait at the final breeding attempt. PMID:23438213

  18. Temporal and spatial variation in mercury concentrations in some albatrosses and petrels from the sub-Antarctic

    SciTech Connect

    Thompson, D.R.; Furness, R.W.; Lewis, S.A. )

    1993-01-01

    Mercury concentrations in albatrosses and some other large procellariiforms are very much higher than found in other groups of seabirds. Analysis of mercury concentrations in feather samples collected prior to 1950 and after this date showed slight, but significant, increased in three out of ten sub-Antarctic procellariiform species. The lack of widespread and pronounced increases in mercury concentrations in procellariiforms between these periods may indicate that industrial and agricultural emissions of mercury in the southern hemisphere have been relatively minor and the high concentrations are predominantly due to natural processes. Mercury concentrations were relatively consistent between body feathers of individuals, and showed no variation related to adult age (in years). Within species, mercury concentrations tended to be highest in New Zealand populations and lowest in Falkland Island and South Georgia populations. Mercury concentrations also varied among species, but not in a way that could be related to diet. 27 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  19. High feather mercury concentrations in the wandering albatross are related to sex, breeding status and trophic ecology with no demographic consequences.

    PubMed

    Bustamante, Paco; Carravieri, Alice; Goutte, Aurélie; Barbraud, Christophe; Delord, Karine; Chastel, Olivier; Weimerskirch, Henri; Cherel, Yves

    2016-01-01

    Hg can affect physiology of seabirds and ultimately their demography, particularly if they are top consumers. In the present study, body feathers of >200 wandering albatrosses from Possession Island in the Crozet archipelago were used to explore the potential demographic effects of the long-term exposure to Hg on an apex predator. Variations of Hg with sex, age class, foraging habitat (inferred from δ(13)C values), and feeding habits (inferred from δ(15)N values) were examined as well as the influence of Hg on current breeding output, long-term fecundity and survival. Wandering albatrosses displayed among the highest Hg feather concentrations reported for seabirds, ranging from 5.9 to 95 µg g(-1), as a consequence of their high trophic position (δ(15)N values). These concentrations fall within the same range of those of other wandering albatross populations from subantarctic sites, suggesting that this species has similar exposure to Hg all around the Southern Ocean. In both immature and adult albatrosses, females had higher Hg concentrations than males (28 vs. 20 µg g(-1) dw on average, respectively), probably as a consequence of females foraging at lower latitudes than males (δ(13)C values). Hg concentrations were higher in immature than in adult birds, and they remained fairly constant across a wide range of ages in adults. Such high levels in immature individuals question (i) the frequency of moult in young birds, (ii) the efficiency of Hg detoxification processes in immatures compared to adults, and (iii) importantly the potential detrimental effects of Hg in early life. Despite very high Hg concentrations in their feathers, neither effects on adults' breeding probability, hatching failure and fledgling failure, nor on adults' survival rate were detected, suggesting that long-term bioaccumulated Hg was not under a chemical form leading to deleterious effects on reproductive parameters in adult individuals. PMID:26529556

  20. Demographic consequences of heavy metals and persistent organic pollutants in a vulnerable long-lived bird, the wandering albatross

    PubMed Central

    Goutte, Aurélie; Barbraud, Christophe; Meillère, Alizée; Carravieri, Alice; Bustamante, Paco; Labadie, Pierre; Budzinski, Hélène; Delord, Karine; Cherel, Yves; Weimerskirch, Henri; Chastel, Olivier

    2014-01-01

    Seabirds are top predators of the marine environment that accumulate contaminants over a long life-span. Chronic exposure to pollutants is thought to compromise survival rate and long-term reproductive outputs in these long-lived organisms, thus inducing population decline. However, the demographic consequences of contaminant exposure are largely theoretical because of the dearth of long-term datasets. This study aims to test whether adult survival rate, return to the colony and long-term breeding performance were related to blood mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd) and persistent organic pollutants (POPs), by using a capture–mark–recapture dataset on the vulnerable wandering albatross Diomedea exulans. We did not find evidence for any effect of contaminants on adult survival probability. However, blood Hg and POPs negatively impacted long-term breeding probability, hatching and fledging probabilities. The proximate mechanisms underlying these deleterious effects are likely multifaceted, through physiological perturbations and interactions with reproductive costs. Using matrix population models, we projected a demographic decline in response to an increase in Hg or POPs concentrations. This decline in population growth rate could be exacerbated by other anthropogenic perturbations, such as climate change, disease and fishery bycatch. This study gives a new dimension to the overall picture of environmental threats to wildlife populations. PMID:24920477

  1. Age-related variation in foraging behaviour in the wandering albatross at South Georgia: no evidence for senescence.

    PubMed

    Froy, Hannah; Lewis, Sue; Catry, Paulo; Bishop, Charles M; Forster, Isaac P; Fukuda, Akira; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi; Phalan, Ben; Xavier, Jose C; Nussey, Daniel H; Phillips, Richard A

    2015-01-01

    Age-related variation in demographic rates is now widely documented in wild vertebrate systems, and has significant consequences for population and evolutionary dynamics. However, the mechanisms underpinning such variation, particularly in later life, are less well understood. Foraging efficiency is a key determinant of fitness, with implications for individual life history trade-offs. A variety of faculties known to decline in old age, such as muscular function and visual acuity, are likely to influence foraging performance. We examine age-related variation in the foraging behaviour of a long-lived, wide-ranging oceanic seabird, the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans. Using miniaturised tracking technologies, we compared foraging trip characteristics of birds breeding at Bird Island, South Georgia. Based on movement and immersion data collected during the incubation phase of a single breeding season, and from extensive tracking data collected in previous years from different stages of the breeding cycle, we found limited evidence for age-related variation in commonly reported trip parameters, and failed to detect signs of senescent decline. Our results contrast with the limited number of past studies that have examined foraging behaviour in later life, since these have documented changes in performance consistent with senescence. This highlights the importance of studies across different wild animal populations to gain a broader perspective on the processes driving variation in ageing rates. PMID:25574995

  2. Age-Related Variation in Foraging Behaviour in the Wandering Albatross at South Georgia: No Evidence for Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Froy, Hannah; Lewis, Sue; Catry, Paulo; Bishop, Charles M.; Forster, Isaac P.; Fukuda, Akira; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi; Phalan, Ben; Xavier, Jose C.; Nussey, Daniel H.; Phillips, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    Age-related variation in demographic rates is now widely documented in wild vertebrate systems, and has significant consequences for population and evolutionary dynamics. However, the mechanisms underpinning such variation, particularly in later life, are less well understood. Foraging efficiency is a key determinant of fitness, with implications for individual life history trade-offs. A variety of faculties known to decline in old age, such as muscular function and visual acuity, are likely to influence foraging performance. We examine age-related variation in the foraging behaviour of a long-lived, wide-ranging oceanic seabird, the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans. Using miniaturised tracking technologies, we compared foraging trip characteristics of birds breeding at Bird Island, South Georgia. Based on movement and immersion data collected during the incubation phase of a single breeding season, and from extensive tracking data collected in previous years from different stages of the breeding cycle, we found limited evidence for age-related variation in commonly reported trip parameters, and failed to detect signs of senescent decline. Our results contrast with the limited number of past studies that have examined foraging behaviour in later life, since these have documented changes in performance consistent with senescence. This highlights the importance of studies across different wild animal populations to gain a broader perspective on the processes driving variation in ageing rates. PMID:25574995

  3. Lead poisoning of seabirds: environmental risks from leaded paint at a decommissioned military base.

    PubMed

    Finkelstein, Myra E; Gwiazda, Roberto H; Smith, Donald R

    2003-08-01

    The sources and risk factors for lead exposure to humans are relatively well recognized, yet much less is known about lead exposure risks and effects to wildlife. Here we utilized lead isotopic fingerprinting to investigate sources of elevated lead exposure to Laysan albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) chicks in the Midway Island National Wildlife Refuge, which was established on the site of a decommissioned military base that previously had undergone lead remediation. Whole blood from chicks as well as soil and paint chips from the chicks' nests were collected from birds nesting close to (<5 m, building site) and distant from (>100 m, reference site) buildings and analyzed for lead levels and isotopic compositions using magnetic sector ICP-MS. Blood lead levels of chicks from the building site had a geometric mean of 190 microg/dL (average = 320 +/- 310 SD, range = 6.8-1400, n = 21) as compared to 4.5 microg/dL (average = 6.0 +/- 4.2 SD, range = 1.2-13, n = 15) in chicks from the reference site. Nest soil lead levels from both sites were similar and relatively low (0.05-11 microg/g) unless visibly contaminated with paint chips (building site). Isotopic analyses confirmed that leaded paint was the source of lead poisoning in these chicks and showed that the pathway of exposure was via direct ingestion of paint chips and not through contaminated soil. This study found continued risk to wildlife and possibly humans from lead hazards in a wildlife refuge established on a decommissioned military base. In addition, this study demonstrates the utility of lead isotopes to identify environmental lead hazards and exposure pathways to wildlife. PMID:12966967

  4. Accumulation profiles of parabens and their metabolites in fish, black bear, and birds, including bald eagles and albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Xue, Jingchuan; Kannan, Kurunthachalam

    2016-09-01

    Although several studies have reported the ubiquitous occurrence of parabens in human specimens and the environment, little is known about the accumulation of these estrogenic chemicals in fish and birds. In this study, accumulation profiles of six parabens and their metabolites were determined in 254 tissue (including liver, kidney, egg, and plasma) samples from 12 species of fish and seven species of birds collected from inland, coastal, and remote aquatic ecosystems. In addition, liver and kidney tissues from black bears were analyzed. Methyl paraben (MeP) was found in a majority of the tissues, with the highest concentration (796ng/g (wet weight [wet wt])) found in the liver of a bald eagle from Michigan. 4-Hydroxy benzoate (HB) was the major metabolite, found in 91% of the tissue samples analyzed at concentrations as high as 68,600ng/g, wet wt, which was found in the liver of a white-tailed sea eagle from the Baltic Sea coast. The accumulation pattern of MeP and 4-HB varied, depending on the species. The mean concentrations of MeP measured in fishes from Michigan, New York, and Florida waters were <2.01 (fillet), 152 (liver), and 32.0 (liver) ng/g, wet wt, respectively, and the corresponding 4-HB concentrations were 39.5, 10,500, and 642ng/g, wet wt. The mean hepatic and renal concentrations of 4-HB in black bears were 1,720 and 1,330ng/g, wet wt, respectively. The concentrations of MeP and 4-HB were significantly positively correlated with each other in various tissues and species, which suggested a common source of exposure to these compounds in fish and birds. Trace concentrations of MeP and 4-HB also were found in the tissues of albatrosses from Midway Atoll, Northwestern Pacific Ocean, which suggested widespread distribution of these compounds in the marine environment. PMID:27329692

  5. What shall I do now? State-dependent variations of life-history traits with aging in Wandering Albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Pardo, Deborah; Barbraud, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-02-01

    Allocation decisions depend on an organism's condition which can change with age. Two opposite changes in life-history traits are predicted in the presence of senescence: either an increase in breeding performance in late age associated with terminal investment or a decrease due to either life-history trade-offs between current breeding and future survival or decreased efficiency at old age. Age variation in several life-history traits has been detected in a number of species, and demographic performances of individuals in a given year are influenced by their reproductive state the previous year. Few studies have, however, examined state-dependent variation in life-history traits with aging, and they focused mainly on a dichotomy of successful versus failed breeding and non-breeding birds. Using a 50-year dataset on the long-lived quasi-biennial breeding wandering albatross, we investigated variations in life-history traits with aging according to a gradient of states corresponding to potential costs of reproduction the previous year (in ascending order): non-breeding birds staying at sea or present at breeding grounds, breeding birds that failed early, late or were successful. We used multistate models to study survival and decompose reproduction into four components (probabilities of return, breeding, hatching, and fledging), while accounting for imperfect detection. Our results suggest the possible existence of two strategies in the population: strict biennial breeders that exhibited almost no reproductive senescence and quasi-biennial breeders that showed an increased breeding frequency with a strong and moderate senescence on hatching and fledging probabilities, respectively. The patterns observed on survival were contrary to our predictions, suggesting an influence of individual quality rather than trade-offs between reproduction and survival at late ages. This work represents a step further into understanding the evolutionary ecology of senescence and its

  6. What shall I do now? State-dependent variations of life-history traits with aging in Wandering Albatrosses

    PubMed Central

    Pardo, Deborah; Barbraud, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-01-01

    Allocation decisions depend on an organism's condition which can change with age. Two opposite changes in life-history traits are predicted in the presence of senescence: either an increase in breeding performance in late age associated with terminal investment or a decrease due to either life-history trade-offs between current breeding and future survival or decreased efficiency at old age. Age variation in several life-history traits has been detected in a number of species, and demographic performances of individuals in a given year are influenced by their reproductive state the previous year. Few studies have, however, examined state-dependent variation in life-history traits with aging, and they focused mainly on a dichotomy of successful versus failed breeding and non-breeding birds. Using a 50-year dataset on the long-lived quasi-biennial breeding wandering albatross, we investigated variations in life-history traits with aging according to a gradient of states corresponding to potential costs of reproduction the previous year (in ascending order): non-breeding birds staying at sea or present at breeding grounds, breeding birds that failed early, late or were successful. We used multistate models to study survival and decompose reproduction into four components (probabilities of return, breeding, hatching, and fledging), while accounting for imperfect detection. Our results suggest the possible existence of two strategies in the population: strict biennial breeders that exhibited almost no reproductive senescence and quasi-biennial breeders that showed an increased breeding frequency with a strong and moderate senescence on hatching and fledging probabilities, respectively. The patterns observed on survival were contrary to our predictions, suggesting an influence of individual quality rather than trade-offs between reproduction and survival at late ages. This work represents a step further into understanding the evolutionary ecology of senescence and its

  7. The Democratic Albatross.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hahn, Dan F.; Gonchar, Ruth M.

    This paper discusses ideologues, both of the far Left and the far Right, and their influences on the American political structure and our "traditional pluralistic politics," which is defined as the concept traditionally held in this country that politics function within a clash of interests, sectional and group, and that political decisions are…

  8. Does prey capture induce area-restricted search? A fine-scale study using GPS in a marine predator, the wandering albatross.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Pinaud, David; Pawlowski, Frédéric; Bost, Charles-André

    2007-11-01

    In a patchy environment, predators are expected to increase turning rate and start an area-restricted search (ARS) when prey have been encountered, but few empirical data exist for large predators. By using GPS loggers with devices measuring prey capture, we studied how a marine predator adjusts foraging movements at various scales in relation to prey capture. Wandering albatrosses use two tactics, sit and wait and foraging in flight, the former tactic being three times less efficient than the latter. During flight foraging, birds caught large isolated prey and used ARS at scales varying from 5 to 90 km, with large-scale ARS being used only by young animals. Birds did not show strong responses to prey capture at a large scale, few ARS events occurred after prey capture, and birds did not have high rates of prey capture in ARS. Only at small scales did birds increase sinuosity after prey captures for a limited time period, and this occurred only after they had caught a large prey item within an ARS zone. When this species searches over a large scale, the most effective search rule was to follow a nearly straight path. ARS may be used to restrict search to a particular environment where prey capture is more predictable and profitable. PMID:17926295

  9. Polychlorinated Biphenyls in the Plasma and Preen Oil of Black-Footed Albatross (Diomedea nigripes) Chicks and Adults on Midway Atoll, North Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jun; Caccamise, Sarah A. L.; Woodward, Lee Ann; Li, Qing X.

    2015-01-01

    Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are ubiquitous in the environment. Midway Atoll, located in the North Pacific Ocean, was occupied by the military during and after World War II. However, Midway Atoll has become a national wildlife refuge and home to many different seabirds today, including the black-footed albatross (Diomedea nigripes) (BFAL). The profiles and toxic equivalents (TEQ) of PCB congeners in the plasma and preen oil of BFAL chicks and adults were determined in this study. The concentrations of the total PCBs in the plasma samples of chicks and adults collected in Midway Atoll ranged from 2.3 to 223.8 (mean 80.1) and 22.8 to 504.5 (mean 158.6) ng g-1 (wet weight, ww), respectively. The TEQs ranged from 0.2 to 0.6 (mean 0.4) and 0.4 to 1.6 (mean 0.9) pg g-1 ww, respectively, in the plasma samples of chicks and adults from Midway Atoll. The major congeners in the plasma samples of chicks and adults included PCBs 31, 87, 97, 99, 118, 138, 153, and 180, accounting for 70% of the total PCBs. The concentrations of the total PCBs in the adult preen oil samples ranged from 1693 to 39404 (mean 10122) ng g-1 (ww), of which 97% were PCBs 105, 118, 128, 138, 153, 161, 172, and 183. PMID:25901941

  10. A traditional and a less-invasive robust design: choices in optimizing effort allocation for seabird population studies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Converse, S.J.; Kendall, W.L.; Doherty, P.F., Jr.; Naughton, M.B.; Hines, J.E.

    2009-01-01

    For many animal populations, one or more life stages are not accessible to sampling, and therefore an unobservable state is created. For colonially-breeding populations, this unobservable state could represent the subset of adult breeders that have foregone breeding in a given year. This situation applies to many seabird populations, notably albatrosses, where skipped breeders are either absent from the colony, or are present but difficult to capture or correctly assign to breeding state. Kendall et al. have proposed design strategies for investigations of seabird demography where such temporary emigration occurs, suggesting the use of the robust design to permit the estimation of time-dependent parameters and to increase the precision of estimates from multi-state models. A traditional robust design, where animals are subject to capture multiple times in a sampling season, is feasible in many cases. However, due to concerns that multiple captures per season could cause undue disturbance to animals, Kendall et al. developed a less-invasive robust design (LIRD), where initial captures are followed by an assessment of the ratio of marked-to-unmarked birds in the population or sampled plot. This approach has recently been applied in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to populations of Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis) and black-footed (P. nigripes) albatrosses. In this paper, we outline the LIRD and its application to seabird population studies. We then describe an approach to determining optimal allocation of sampling effort in which we consider a non-robust design option (nRD), and variations of both the traditional robust design (RD), and the LIRD. Variations we considered included the number of secondary sampling occasions for the RD and the amount of total effort allocated to the marked-to-unmarked ratio assessment for the LIRD. We used simulations, informed by early data from the Hawaiian study, to address optimal study design for our example cases. We found that

  11. Atlantic Coastal Experiment III: R/V KNORR cruise 68, 4-30 August 1977; FRV ALBATROSS IV cruise 77-07, 1-4, 16-31 August 1977. Data report, volume 1

    SciTech Connect

    Judkins, D.C.; von Bock, K.

    1983-03-01

    Data are reported from KNORR cruise 68, the major investigation of the third Atlantic Coastal Experiment (ACE), conducted during a period of pro-nounced water-column stratification. One hundred fifty-five stations, including 6 time-series sitings, were occupied within the shelf and shelf- break regimes of New York Bight. Measurements were made to assess water-mass characterization, nutrient cycling, carbon/nitrogen assimilation, bio-mass distribution and diel dynamics and benthic/water-column interfacial exchange. Data are also included from the cruise of ALBATROSS IV carried out contemporaneously with the KNORR investigations, in an area ranging from Nantucket Shoals to the upper reaches of the Gulf of Maine. 20 hydrographic stations were used to augment underway mapping in order to elucidate surface-layer chlorophyll and nutrient distributions occurring at an impor-tant boundary of the New York Bight.

  12. Geometry for a penguin-albatross rookery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giavazzi, Fabio; Vailati, Alberto

    2014-05-01

    We introduce a simple ecological model describing the spatial organization of two interacting populations whose individuals are indifferent to conspecifics and avoid the proximity to heterospecifics. At small population densities Φ a nontrivial structure is observed where clusters of individuals arrange into a rhomboidal bipartite network with an average degree of 4. For Φ →0 the length scale, order parameter, and susceptibility of the network exhibit power-law divergences compatible with hyperscaling, suggesting the existence of a zero-density nontrivial critical point. At larger densities a critical threshold Φc is identified above which the evolution toward a partially ordered configuration is prevented and the system becomes jammed in a fully mixed state.

  13. New Albatross commercial airplane "L 58"

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, G

    1923-01-01

    The "L 58" is a monoplane with cantilever wings joined directly to the fuselage. It accordingly belongs to the new school of airplane construction, as founded and developed in Germany. A list of performance characteristics is included.

  14. Weights, hematology and serum chemistry of seven species of free-ranging tropical pelagic seabirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Work, T.M.

    1996-01-01

    I established reference values for weight, hematology, and serum chemistry for seven species of free-ranging Hawaiian tropical pelagic seabirds comprising three orders (Procellariiformes, Pelecaniformes, Charadriiformes) and six families (Procellariidae, Phaethontidae, Diomedeidae, Sulidae, Fregatidae, and Laridae). Species examined included 84 Hawaiian darkrumped petrels (Pterodoma phaeopygia), 90 wedge-tailed shearwaters (Puffinus pacificus), 151 Laysan albatrosses (Diomedea immutabilis), 69 red-footed boobies (Sula sula), 154 red-tailed tropicbirds (Phaeton rubricauda), 90 great frigatebirds (Fregata minor), and 72 sooty terns (Sterna fuscata). Hematocrit, total plasma solids, total and differential white cell counts, serum glucose, calcium, phosphorus, uric acid, total protein, albumin, globulin, aspartate aminotransferase and creatinine phosphokinase were analyzed. Among and within species, hematology and chemistry values varied with age, sex, season, and island of collection. Despite this variation, order-wide trends were observed.

  15. Temporal Assessment of Methylmercury in an Endangered Pacific Seabird (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vo, A. E.; Bank, M. S.; Shine, J. P.; Edwards, S. V.

    2010-12-01

    Methylmercury cycling in the Pacific Ocean has garnered significant attention in recent years, especially with regard to rising mercury emissions from Asia. Uncertainty exists over the extent to which mercury accumulation in biota may have resulted from increases in anthropogenic output over time. To address this, we assessed historical and recent mercury exposure in an endangered Pacific seabird, the Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), using feather samples from museum specimens spanning the past 130 years. We additionally analyzed stable isotopes of nitrogen (δ15N) and carbon (δ13C) to control for confounding factors of temporal change in trophic structure or diet. As a long-lived, wide-ranging, top marine predator and an endangered, keystone species in the North Pacific, the Black-footed Albatross comprises an ideal sentinel species for determining the effect of both global increases in mercury throughout the previous century and regional increases during the recent past on bioaccumulation and risk among avian wildlife. A significantly higher proportion of post-1940 samples contained above deleterious threshold levels (~40,000 ng/g) of methylmercury relative to pre-1940 samples, and mean concentrations were significantly higher in post-1990 than in pre-1990 samples. We also found increasingly higher amounts of (presumably curator-mediated) inorganic mercury contamination in older museum samples for the Black-footed Albatross as well as two non-pelagic comparison species, which informs future studies on bioaccumulation in museum specimens to analyze methylmercury rather than total mercury in all but recently collected specimens. Although complementary stable isotope data suggested no historic change in albatross trophic level, there was a significant change in δ13C signature over time. However, after controlling for these potential confounders, time significantly and positively associated with methylmercury exposure. Changes in methylmercury levels

  16. Predicting sea-level rise vulnerability of terrestrial habitat and wildlife of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Berkowitz, Paul; Courtot, Karen N.; Krause, Crystal M.

    2012-01-01

    emphasize the need for early climate change adaptation and mitigation planning, especially for species with limited breeding distributions and/or ranges restricted primarily to the low-lying NWHI: Cyperus pennatiformis var. bryanii, Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), Laysan Albatross (P. immutabilis), Bonin Petrel (Pterodroma hypoleuca), Gray-backed Tern (Onychoprion lunatus), Laysan Teal (Anas laysanensis), Laysan Finch (Telespiza cantans), and Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi). Furthermore, SLR scenarios that include the effects of wave dynamics and groundwater rise may indicate amplified vulnerability to climate change driven habitat loss on low-lying islands. In chapter 2, we incorporated the combined effects of SLR, dynamic wave-driven inundation, and rising groundwater in a quantitative study specifically for the Laysan Island ecosystem. This is the first hydrodynamic model to simulate the combined impacts of SLR and wave-driven inundation in the NWHI. We developed a high-resolution digital elevation model (mean vertical accuracy of 0.32 m) for the island. Then using recent satellite imagery, geospatial models, and historical oceanographic, storm, and biological data we estimated potential inundation extent, habitat loss, and wildlife population impacts for a range of potential SLR scenarios (0.00, +0.50, +1.00, +1.50, and +2.00 m) that may occur over the next century. Additionally, we estimated the carrying capacity of Laysan Island for five species based on the available population monitoring data and described how potential losses in nesting habitat could influence population dynamics for Black-footed Albatross, Laysan Albatross, Red-footed Booby (Sula sula), Laysan Teal, and Laysan Finch. For some other seabird populations (Masked Booby, S. dactylatra; Brown Booby, S. leucogaster; Great Frigatebird, Fregata minor; and Sooty Tern, Onychoprion fuscata), we used recent colony distribution data, land cover maps, and nesting behavior to estimate

  17. Metal levels in feathers of 12 species of seabirds from midway atoll in the northern Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Burger, J; Gochfeld, M

    2000-07-20

    Seabirds are excellent subjects for examination of heavy metals because they are long-lived, feed at different distances from land, and exhibit different trophic levels. In this paper we compare the levels of lead, cadmium, mercury arsenic, chromium, manganese, selenium, and tin in the feathers of birds nesting on Midway Atoll in the northern Pacific Ocean. We test the null hypothesis that there are no interspecific differences in the levels of metals in the feathers of the adult black-footed albatross (Diomedea nigripes), Laysan albatross (Diomedea immutabilis), red-footed booby (Sula sula), great frigatebird (Fregata minor), Bonin petrel (Pterodroma hypoleuca), Christmas shearwater (Puffinus nativitatis), red-tailed tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda), wedge-tailed shearwater (Puffinus pacificus), brown noddy (Anous stolidus), sooty tern (Stema fuscata), grey-backed tern (Stema lunata), and white tern (Gygis alba), and young of some of these species. There were interspecific differences in the levels of all metals for adults. Christmas shearwater had the highest levels of lead, cadmium, selenium and manganese, but the second lowest levels of mercury. In general, metal levels were the lowest in the smallest species (white tern), but were not the highest in the largest species (black-footed albatross), except for manganese, arsenic and mercury. There was a high variance in metal levels among adults for some species, but not for others. White tern adults were variable for lead, while Christmas shearwaters were variable for lead and cadmium. Compared to the means for metals in other birds generally (after Burger, 1993), Christmas shearwaters had higher levels of lead, white terns, brown noddy, Christmas shearwater, frigatebirds and Laysan albatrosses had higher levels of cadmium, and bonin petrel, wedge-tailed shearwater, tropicbirds, frigatebirds, red-footed boobies, and both albatrosses had higher levels of mercury. Whereas the means for lead and cadmium were below

  18. Temporal increase in organic mercury in an endangered pelagic seabird assessed by century-old museum specimens.

    PubMed

    Vo, Anh-Thu E; Bank, Michael S; Shine, James P; Edwards, Scott V

    2011-05-01

    Methylmercury cycling in the Pacific Ocean has garnered significant attention in recent years, especially with regard to rising mercury emissions from Asia. Uncertainty exists concerning whether increases in anthropogenic emissions over time may have caused increased mercury bioaccumulation in the biota. To address this, we measured total mercury and, for a subset of samples, methylmercury (the bioaccumulated form of mercury) in museum feathers from an endangered seabird, the black-footed albatross (Phoebastria nigripes), spanning a 120-y period. We analyzed stable isotopes of nitrogen (δ(15)N) and carbon (δ(13)C) to control for temporal changes in trophic structure and diet. In post-1940 and -1990 feathers, we detected significantly higher mean methylmercury concentrations and higher proportions of samples exhibiting above deleterious threshold levels (∼ 40,000 ng · g(-1)) of methylmercury relative to prior time points, suggesting that mercury toxicity may undermine reproductive effort in the species. We also found higher levels of (presumably curator-mediated) inorganic mercury in older specimens of albatross as well as two nonpelagic species lacking historical exposure to bioavailable mercury, patterns suggesting that studies on bioaccumulation should measure methylmercury rather than total mercury when using museum collections. δ(15)N contributed substantially to models explaining the observed methylmercury variation. After simultaneously controlling for significant trends in δ(13)C over time and δ(15)N with methylmercury exposure, year remained a significant independent covariate with feather methylmercury levels among the albatrosses. These data show that remote seabird colonies in the Pacific basin exhibit temporal changes in methylmercury levels consistent with historical global and recent regional increases in anthropogenic emissions. PMID:21502496

  19. Spring-time distributions of migratory marine birds in the southern California Current: Oceanic eddy associations and coastal habitat hotspots over 17 years

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yen, P. P. W.; Sydeman, W. J.; Bograd, S. J.; Hyrenbach, K. D.

    2006-02-01

    We used a 17-year time series of shipboard observations to address the hypothesis that marine birds associate with persistent hydrographic features in the southern California Current System (CCS). Overall, approximately 27,000 km of ocean habitat were surveyed, averaging 1600 km per cruise. We identified mesoscale features (eddy centers and the core of the California Current), based on dynamic height anomalies, and considered habitat associations for seven migratory seabird species: black-footed albatross ( Phoebastria nigripes), Cook's petrel ( Pterodroma cookii), Leach's storm-petrel ( Oceanodroma leucorhoa), dark shearwaters (mainly sooty shearwater Puffinus griseus, with a few short-tailed shearwaters Puffinus tenuirostris), northern fulmar ( Fulmarus glacialis), red phalarope ( Phalaropus fulicaria), and red-necked phalarope ( Phalaropus lobatus). We explored associations (presence/absence and density relationships) of marine birds with mesoscale features (eddies, current jet) and metrics of primary productivity (chlorophyll a and nitrate concentrations). Mesoscale eddies were consistently identified in the study region, but were spatially and temporally variable. The resolved eddies were large-scale features associated with meanders of the equatorward-flowing California Current. Cook's petrel was found offshore with no specific habitat affinities. Black-footed albatross, red phalarope, and Leach's storm petrel were found in association with offshore eddies and/or the core of the California Current, but the functional relationship for these species varied, possibly reflecting differences in flight capabilities. The more coastal species, including the shearwaters, fulmar, and red-necked phalarope, were positively associated with proxies of primary productivity. Of the hydrographic habitats considered, the upwelling region of Point Conception appears to be an important "hotspot" of sustained primary production and marine bird concentrations. Point Conception and

  20. The use of microsomal in vitro assay to study phase I biotransformation of chlorobornanes (Toxaphene) in marine mammals and birds. Possible consequences of biotransformation for bioaccumulation and genotoxicity.

    PubMed

    Boon, J P; Sleiderink, H M; Helle, M S; Dekker, M; van Schanke, A; Roex, E; Hillebrand, M T; Klamer, H J; Govers, B; Pastor, D; Morse, D; Wester, P G; de Boer, J

    1998-11-01

    The factors determining the bioaccumulation of lipophilic compounds in wildlife are often poorly understood, partly because it is difficult to do in vivo experiments with animals such as marine mammals and birds. To evaluate the role of phase I biotransformation in the bioaccumulation process of chlorobornanes (toxaphene), this was studied in in vitro assays with hepatic microsomes of animals that could be sampled shortly after death. The capacity of microsomes to metabolise a technical toxaphene mixture decreased in the order Phoca vitulina (harbour seal) > Lagenorhynchus albirostris (whitebeaked dolphin) approximately equal to Diomedea immutabilis (Laysan albatross) > Physeter macrocephalus (sperm whale). Harbour seal microsomes metabolised the chlorobornane (CHB) congeners CHB-32 and CHB-62; whitebeaked dolphin and Laysan albatross microsomes only metabolised CHB-32. Metabolism of CHB-26 and CHB-50 was never observed. The negative chemical ionisation (NCI-) mass spectra of some of the hydroxylated metabolites were obtained. The number of peaks in the toxaphene residues of wildlife extracts decreased in the order of increasing in-vitro biotransformation capacity. Thus, the results of the in vitro assays and residue analysis were in accordance, although assays with microsomes of more individuals of the same species are required for a more general conclusion at the species level. Finally, the effect of in vitro biotransformation was evaluated in terms of the genotoxic potential using the Mutatox assay. Only technical toxaphene and CHB-32 were genotoxic in the direct assay, whereas the addition of rat S9 fraction or microsomes of harbour seal and albatross decreased the genotoxic response. Thus, organisms with a low ability to metabolise chlorobornanes, such as whales, may be most affected by the carcinogenic properties of toxaphene. A hypothetical reaction which fits the experimental results is discussed. Based on these results it is concluded that in vitro assays

  1. Rural-Based Universities in South Africa: Albatrosses or Potential Nodes for Sustainable Development?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nkomo, Mokubung; Sehoole, Chika

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to focus on how two rural-based universities in South Africa can contribute towards sustainable development especially in their immediate rural communities. It addresses the following questions what conditions or policy frameworks exist that can engender a sustainable development trajectory? How can…

  2. Element patterns in albatrosses and petrels: influence of trophic position, foraging range, and prey type.

    PubMed

    Anderson, O R J; Phillips, R A; Shore, R F; McGill, R A R; McDonald, R A; Bearhop, S

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the concentrations of 22 essential and non-essential elements among a community of Procellariiformes (and their prey) to identify the extent to which trophic position and foraging range governed element accumulation. Stable isotope analysis (SIA) was used to characterise trophic (delta(15)N) and spatial patterns (delta(13)C) among species. Few consistent patterns were observed in element distributions among species and diet appeared to be highly influential in some instances. Arsenic levels in seabird red blood cells correlated with delta(15)N and delta(13)C, demonstrating the importance of trophic position and foraging range for arsenic distribution. Arsenic concentrations in prey varied significantly across taxa, and in the strength of association with delta(15)N values (trophic level). In most instances, element patterns in Procellariiformes showed the clearest separation among species, indicating that a combination of prey selection and other complex species-specific characteristics (e.g. moult patterns) were generally more important determining factors than trophic level per se. PMID:19713018

  3. Proposed design for a fast (parallel) preprocessor for the spin spectrometer and other eventful albatrosses

    SciTech Connect

    Hensley, D.C.

    1981-01-01

    Because devices like the Spin Spectrometer described in a previous paper to this conference can produce an extremely fast but fairly simple-to-process data stream, it seems reasonable to consider front-end preprocessors having special characteristics. In general, the kinds of transformations being considered do not require floating point calculations or extensive calculations. In order to be somewhat specific, the particular data acquisition/processing problems posed by the Spin Spectrometer at the Holifield Heavy Ion Facility will be discussed.

  4. When the Mockingbird becomes an Albatross: Reading and Resistance in the Language Arts Classroom.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ricker-Wilson, Carol

    1998-01-01

    Describes the discomfort experienced by students and teacher as they explored how blackness is portrayed and understood in "To Kill a Mockingbird." Grapples with fundamental pedagogical questions: how to talk about race with a diverse group of students and how to examine victimization and oppression. Suggests tandem teaching with M. Taylor's "Roll…

  5. Seabird bycatch in Alaska demersal longline fishery trials: a demographic summary

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Phillips, Elizabeth M.; Nevins, HannahRose M.; Hatch, Scott A.; Ramey, Andy M.; Miller, Melissa A.; Harvey, James T.

    2010-01-01

    The seasonal and spatial demographics are summarized for seabirds killed incidentally during gear modification trials for a demersal longline fishery in the Bering Sea. We examined 417 carcasses, including Northern Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis (n = 205), Glaucous-winged Gull Larus glaucescens (n = 103), Short-tailed Shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris (n = 48), Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus (n = 23), Slaty-backed Gull Larus schistisagus (n = 4), Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla (n = 1), Laysan Albatross Diomedea immutabilis (n = 1), and unidentified gull species Larus spp. (n = 32). There was a significant male bias in the sex ratio of fulmars but not of gulls or shearwaters. For the top three species killed, the age composition of resident species was dominated numerically by adults (Northern Fulmar—86%; Glaucous-winged Gull—63%), whereas migrant species were primarily immature birds (Short-tailed Shearwater—71%). The majority of migratory Short-tailed Shearwaters (88%) were caught in July and August, whereas 70% of resident fulmars and gulls were caught in October and November. Age-class frequencies did not differ by month of capture, indicating that adult mortality is substantial. Eighty percent of the fulmars caught during July and August were within 200 km of two colonies in the Bering Sea, whereas only 7% of fulmars were caught in the same area during September to November. This is one of the first demographic summaries of seabird bycatch in Alaska longline fisheries. Additional studies of the species, age and sex of seabirds subject to fisheries-related mortality will provide data necessary to evaluate population-level impacts.

  6. In vitro and in silico evaluation of transactivation potencies of avian AHR1 and AHR2 by endogenous ligands: Implications for the physiological role of avian AHR2.

    PubMed

    Kim, In-Sung; Hwang, Ji-Hee; Hirano, Masashi; Iwata, Hisato; Kim, Eun-Young

    2016-09-01

    Aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is well conserved from invertebrates to vertebrates, and it mediates the toxic effects of exogenous ligands, including dioxins. Recent studies reported that AHRs activated by endogenous ligands play critical roles in mammalian physiological homeostasis. Avian species possess at least two AHR isoforms (AHR1 and AHR2), which exhibit species- and isoform-specific transactivation potencies to exogenous ligands, whereas mammals possess a single AHR. To delineate the profiles and roles of endogenous ligands for avian AHR isoforms, we investigated in vitro transactivation potencies of avian AHRs (AHR1 and AHR2 from the jungle crow, Corvus macrorhynchos; common cormorant, Phalacrocorax carbo; and black-footed albatross, Phoebastria nigripes) treated with the endogenous tryptophan metabolites 6-formylindolo [3,2-b] carbazole (FICZ), l-kynurenine (l-Kyn), kynurenic acid (KYNA), and indoxyl sulfate (IS). Furthermore, we analyzed the binding mode of these ligands to each avian AHR isoform by in silico docking simulations. The EC50 of FICZ (0.009-0.032nM) was similar regardless of the species or isoform of AHR. The estimated in silico binding mode of FICZ to AHRs was well conserved in both isoforms. The transactivation potencies of avian AHRs to other tryptophan metabolites were 10(5)-10(7) fold lower than those for FICZ, and EC50 values varied in a species- and isoform-specific manner. This was consistent with poor conservation of the binding mode of l-Kyn, KYNA, and IS predicted in in silico docking simulations. Our results suggest that in avian species, FICZ is the most potent endogenous AHR ligand, and that AHR1 and AHR2 are physiologically functional. PMID:27060260

  7. 77 FR 13076 - Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-03-05

    ... endangered short-tailed albatross is hooked or entangled during fishing operations. Following the retrieval... captain must record the condition of the injured short-tailed albatross on a recovery data form. The... albatross. If the albatross is dead, the captain must attach an identification tag to the carcass to...

  8. Maternal antibody persistence: a neglected life-history trait with implications from albatross conservation to comparative immunology

    PubMed Central

    Garnier, R.; Ramos, R.; Staszewski, V.; Militão, T.; Lobato, E.; González-Solís, J.; Boulinier, T.

    2012-01-01

    The evolution of different life-history strategies has been suggested as a major force constraining physiological mechanisms such as immunity. In some long-lived oviparous species, a prolonged persistence of maternal antibodies in offspring could thus be expected in order to protect them over their long growth period. Here, using an intergenerational vaccination design, we show that specific maternal antibodies can display an estimated half-life of 25 days post-hatching in the nestlings of a long-lived bird. This temporal persistence is much longer than previously known for birds and it suggests specific properties in the regulation of IgY immunoglobulin catabolism in such a species. We also show that maternal antibodies in the considered procellariiform species are functional as late as 20 days of age. Using a modelling approach, we highlight that the potential impact of such effects on population viability could be important, notably when using vaccination for conservation. These results have broad implications, from comparative immunology to evolutionary eco-epidemiology and conservation biology. PMID:22189405

  9. Top-down and bottom-up factors affecting seabird population trends in the California current system (1985-2006)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ainley, David G.; David Hyrenbach, K.

    2010-03-01

    To characterize the environmental factors affecting seabird population trends in the central portion of the California current system (CCS), we analyzed standardized vessel-based surveys collected during the late spring (May-June) upwelling season over 22 yr (1985-2006). We tested the working hypothesis that population trends are related to species-specific foraging ecology, and predicted that temporal variation in population size should be most extreme in diving species with higher energy expenditure during foraging. We related variation in individual species abundance (number km -2) to seasonally lagged (late winter, early spring, late spring) and concurrent ocean conditions, and to long-term trends (using a proxy variable: year) during a multi-decadal period of major fluctuations in the El Niño-Southern oscillation (ENSO) and the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO). We considered both remote (Multivariate ENSO Index, PDO) and local (coastal upwelling indices and sea-surface temperature) environmental variables as proxies for ocean productivity and prey availability. We also related seabird trends to those of potentially major trophic competitors, humpback ( Megaptera novaeangliae) and blue ( Balaenoptera musculus) whales, which increased in number 4-5-fold midway during our study. Cyclical oscillations in seabird abundance were apparent in the black-footed albatross ( Phoebastria nigripes), and decreasing trends were documented for ashy storm-petrel ( Oceanodroma homochroa), pigeon guillemot ( Cepphus columbus), rhinoceros auklet ( Cerorhinca monocerata), Cassin’s auklet ( Ptychoramphus aleuticus), and western gull ( Larus occidentalis); the sooty shearwater ( Puffinus griseus), exhibited a marked decline before signs of recovery at the end of the study period. The abundance of nine other focal species varied with ocean conditions, but without decadal or long-term trends. Six of these species have the largest global populations in the CCS, and four are highly

  10. Lidar Observations of Tropical High-altitude Cirrus Clouds: Results form Dual Wavelength Raman Lidar Measurements During the ALBATROSS Campaign 1996

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Neuber, R.; Wegener, Alfred; Schrems, O.; McDermid, I. S.

    1997-01-01

    Results from dual wavelength Raman Lidar Observations of tropical high-altitude cirrus clouds are reported. Based on 107 hours of night-time measurements cirrus cloud were present in more than 50% of the observations at latitudes between 23.5 degress S and 23.5 degrees N and altitudes between 11 and 16km.

  11. Do the albatross Lévy flights below the spandrels of St Mark?. Comment on "Liberating Lévy walk research from the shackles of optimal foraging" by A.M. Reynolds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Focardi, Stefano

    2015-09-01

    Because of the strong technological developments and device miniaturization, (the so-called biologging revolution [1]) ecology is currently witnessing important conceptual transformations and a new scientific branch "the movement ecology" is quickly developing [2]. In this context the proposals by Reynolds [3] of a new theoretical approach for the explanation of animal movement, which overrides at once the established paradigms of correlated random walk [4] and the new Lévy flight foraging hypothesis [5] is really welcome.

  12. 20. DETAIL WITH FIRE HYDRANT, LOOKING NORTHEAST Kodiak Naval ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    20. DETAIL WITH FIRE HYDRANT, LOOKING NORTHEAST - Kodiak Naval Operating Base, Aircraft Storehouse, U.S. Coast Guard Station, Albatross Avenue near Cape Spencer Street, Kodiak, Kodiak Island Borough, AK

  13. Incidental catch of marine birds in the north pacific high seas driftnet fisheries in 1990

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, D.H.; Shaffer, T.L.; Gould, P.J.

    1993-01-01

    The incidental take of marine birds was estimated for the following North Pacific driftnet fisheries in 1990: Japanese squid, Japanese large-mesh, Korean squid, and Taiwanese squid and large-mesh combined. The take was estimated by assuming that the data represented a random sample from an unstratified population of all driftnet fisheries in the North Pacific. Estimates for 13 species or species groups are presented, along with some discussion of inadequacies of the design. About 416,000 marine birds were estimated to be taken incidentally during the 1990 season; 80% of these were in the Japanese squid fishery. Sooty Shearwaters, Short-tailed Shearwaters, and Laysan Albatrosses were the most common species in the bycatch.Regression models were also developed to explore the relations between bycatch rate of three groups--Black-footed Albatross, Laysan Albatross, and 'dark' shearwaters--and various explanatory variables, such as latitude, longitude, month, vessel, sea surface temperature, and net soak time (length of time nets were in the water). This was done for only the Japanese squid fishery, for which the most complete information was available. For modelling purposes, fishing operations for each vessel were grouped into 5-degree blocks of latitude and longitude.Results of model building indicated that vessel had a significant influence on bycatch rates of all three groups. This finding emphasizes the importance of the sample of vessels being representative of the entire fleet. In addition, bycatch rates of all three groups varied spatially and temporally. Bycatch rates for Laysan Albatrosses tended to decline during the fishing season, whereas those for Black-footed Albatrosses and dark shearwaters tended to increase as the season progressed. Bycatch rates were positively related to net soak time for Laysan Albatrosses and dark shearwaters. Bycatch rates of dark shearwaters were lower for higher sea surface temperatures.

  14. Foraging success of biological Lévy flights recorded in situ.

    PubMed

    Humphries, Nicolas E; Weimerskirch, Henri; Queiroz, Nuno; Southall, Emily J; Sims, David W

    2012-05-01

    It is an open question how animals find food in dynamic natural environments where they possess little or no knowledge of where resources are located. Foraging theory predicts that in environments with sparsely distributed target resources, where forager knowledge about resources' locations is incomplete, Lévy flight movements optimize the success of random searches. However, the putative success of Lévy foraging has been demonstrated only in model simulations. Here, we use high-temporal-resolution Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking of wandering (Diomedea exulans) and black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys) with simultaneous recording of prey captures, to show that both species exhibit Lévy and Brownian movement patterns. We find that total prey masses captured by wandering albatrosses during Lévy movements exceed daily energy requirements by nearly fourfold, and approached yields by Brownian movements in other habitats. These results, together with our reanalysis of previously published albatross data, overturn the notion that albatrosses do not exhibit Lévy patterns during foraging, and demonstrate that Lévy flights of predators in dynamic natural environments present a beneficial alternative strategy to simple, spatially intensive behaviors. Our findings add support to the possibility that biological Lévy flight may have naturally evolved as a search strategy in response to sparse resources and scant information. PMID:22529349

  15. High residue levels and the chemical form of mercury in tissues and organs of seabirds

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, E.Y.; Murakami, Toru; Saeki, Kazutoshi; Tatsukawa, Ryo

    1995-12-31

    Total and organic (methyl) mercury in liver, muscle, kidney and feather of 9 species of seabirds were analyzed to determine the levels and their distribution and to clarify the occurrences of high mercury levels and their detoxification process in seabirds. Total mercury levels in liver showed great variations in intra and interspecies, while organic mercury levels were less variable. As compared with species in relatively low mercury levels, the species which accumulated the high concentration of mercury like black-footed albatross exhibited the different distribution of mercury in the body: in total mercury burden, albatross species contained less than 10% in feather and over 50% in liver, while other species contained over 40% in feather and less than 20% in liver. The order of organic mercury concentrations in tissues were as follows: liver > kidney > muscle in seabirds examined, except oldsquaw. The mean percentage of organic mercury in total was 35%, 66%, and 36% in liver, muscle and kidney, respectively, for all the species. The significant negative correlations were found between organic mercury percentage to total mercury and total mercury concentrations in the liver and muscle of black-footed albatross and in the liver of laysan albatross. Furthermore, in liver, muscle, and kidney of all the species, the percentages of organic mercury had a negative trend with an increase of total mercury concentrations. The results suggest that albatross species may be capable for demethylating organic mercury in the tissues (mainly in liver), and for storing the mercury as immobilizable inorganic form in the liver as substitution for delivering organic mercury to other organs. It is noteworthy that the species with high degree of demethylation showed the lower mercury burdens in feather and slow moulting pattern.

  16. Characterizing the Oxidizing Properties of Mars' Polar Regions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hendrix, A. R.; Simmons, K. E.; Mankoff, K. D.

    2003-01-01

    We investigate the oxidizing properties of Mars polar regions using disk-resolved ultraviolet spectra from the Ultraviolet Spectrometer (UVS) on Mariner 9. We detect the spectral characteristic of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which has already been found to exist on the icy galilean satellites. The Mariner 9 UVS data have been archived at NASA s Planetary Data System (PDS) Atmospheric Node and are also available at http://lasp.colorado.edu/Mariner_9_data/. A software visualization tool, Albatross, provides database access (http://lasp.colorado.edu/albatross/) and enables the user to view reflectance spectra for desired latitude/longitude regions and mission phases. It displays the UVS field-of-view (FOV) tracks along with the corresponding reflectance spectrum for a chosen FOV against a background showing the Mars surface image, or a user specified alternate dataset, such as a thermal, geologic or topographic map.

  17. Minimum Wind Dynamic Soaring Trajectories under Boundary Layer Thickness Limits

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bousquet, Gabriel; Triantafyllou, Michael; Slotine, Jean-Jacques

    2015-11-01

    Dynamic soaring is the flight technique where a glider, either avian or manmade, extracts its propulsive energy from the non-uniformity of horizontal winds. Albatrosses have been recorded to fly an impressive 5000 km/week at no energy cost of their own. In the sharp boundary layer limit, we show that the popular image, where the glider travels in a succession of half turns, is suboptimal for travel speed, airspeed, and soaring ability. Instead, we show that the strategy that maximizes the three criteria simultaneously is a succession of infinitely small arc-circles connecting transitions between the calm and windy layers. The model is consistent with the recordings of albatross flight patterns. This lowers the required wind speed for dynamic soaring by over 50% compared to previous beliefs. In the thick boundary layer limit, energetic considerations allow us to predict a minimum wind gradient necessary for sustained soaring consistent with numerical models.

  18. Birds and Aircraft on Midway Islands, 1959-63 Investigations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, C.S.

    1966-01-01

    At Midway Naval Station, 1.100 miles west-northwest of Honolulu, military aircraft collide with flying albatrosses at the rate of about 300 to 400 per year. One aircraft out of every five that hits an albatross on takeoff either aborts (stops before it is airborne), or dumps fuel and returns for appraisal of damage. About 70,000 pairs of Laysan albatrosses and 7,000 pairs of blackfooted albatrosses nest at Midway in any given year. The population is declining. Two-thirds or more of the birds of breeding age nest each year. The minimum breeding age recorded is 5 years (each species), but many individuals do not nest until at least 7 years of age. Young birds begin to return to Midway at 3 years of age and are found more frequently as breeding age approaches. They come ashore more frequently in March and April (the high bird strike months) than in midwinter. Even in midwinter the number of 'walkers' (birds not on nests) may comprise more than 40 percent of the albatrosses present on Sand Island, Midway. Maximum longevity of the Laysan albatross is believed to exceed 40 years; 6 out of 99 birds banded as breeding adults (7+ years old) were still alive 24 years after banding. Control methods tested experimentally include disturbance, gunfire, other sounds, radar beams, smoke, odors, destruction of nests, eggs, chicks, and adults, moving of birds, eggs, and chicks, erection of obstacles to flight, and habitat management. Habitat management (leveling and hardsurfacing of shoulders of runways) has been the most effective. Albatrosses were counted over the runways at 10 locations in 1957, 1958, and 1960 to determine the effects of wind direction, wind speed, and topography on the numbers of flying birds. Birds were most concentrated in areas where rising air currents were created as winds blew against dunes or tall trees. Soaring and strike rate both increased with greater wind speeds. There was a highly significant correlation between strike frequency and wind direction

  19. Stability and control of the Gossamer human powered aircraft by analysis and flight test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jex, H. R.; Mitchell, D. G.

    1982-01-01

    The slow flight speed, very light wing loading, and neutral stability of the Gossamer Condor and the Gossamer Albatross emphasized apparent-mass aerodynamic effects and unusual modes of motion response. These are analyzed, approximated, and discussed, and the resulting transfer functions and dynamic properties are summarized and compared. To verify these analytical models, flight tests were conducted with and electrically powered Gossamer Albatross II. Sensors were installed and their outputs were telemetered to records on the ground. Frequency sweeps of the various controls were made and the data were reduced to frequency domain measures. Results are given for the response of: pitch rate, airspeed and normal acceleration from canard-elevator deflection; roll rate and yaw rate from canard-rudder tilt; and roll rate and yaw rate from wing warp. The reliable data are compared with the analytical predictions.

  20. Longline fishing (how what you don't know can hurt you).

    PubMed

    Fitzgerald, Kevin T

    2013-11-01

    Longline fishing utilizes monofilament lines that can be as much as 62 miles long. The line itself is buoyed by Styrofoam or plastic floats. Usually, at about every 100ft, a secondary line is attached and hangs down from the mainline. The lines are baited with mackerel, squid, or shark meat and have as many as 10,000 hooks. Every 12-24 hours, the line is hauled in, mechanically rebaited, and set back into the water behind the vessel. The baited hooks can be seen by albatross and other seabirds as they are placed in the water or being hauled out. When the birds dive for the bait, they are hooked, dragged behind the fishing boat, and drown. Spectacularly nonselective, longline fishing techniques also hook many other forms of marine life-"bycatch" (sea turtles, seals, dolphins, penguins, sharks, and many other nontarget finfish). It is estimated that 300,000 seabirds (including 100,000 albatross) die on longlines each year. Albatross are among the longest-lived birds. They can live up to 60 years and some species do not start breeding until they are 10 years old. They have a low reproductive rate and many species only breed every other year. In addition, a species like the Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) rears its chicks for an average of more than 270 days. Albatross pair for life and may take years to find a new partner if their mate is killed. Owing to their incredibly low reproductive rate, albatross are particularly vulnerable to longline fishing. Currently, it is believed that 4 albatross drown per 100,000 hooks set. This is more than 400 birds a week. The current mortality rate for adult birds is not sustainable and for some species, the birds are dying faster that they can repopulate. Currently, 19 of the world's 22 albatross species are threatened with extinction. This year longline fishing ships will set 10 billion hooks worldwide. Various mitigation measures (bird-scaring lines, weighted, faster-sinking line, setting lines deeper out of the bird

  1. Evaluation of the effectiveness of light streamer tori-lines and characteristics of bait attacks by seabirds in the western North Pacific.

    PubMed

    Sato, Noriyosi; Ochi, Daisuke; Minami, Hiroshi; Yokawa, Kotaro

    2012-01-01

    To improve the effectiveness of tori-lines it is necessary to evaluate the ability of tori-lines to mitigate seabird bycatch and determine what kind of seabird species gather during line settings, attack the bait and are incidentally caught. We conducted two experiments in the western North Pacific and examined the effectiveness for seabird mitigation of light streamer tori-lines which have no long streamers but many light (short) streamers and are mainly used in the North Pacific area. Firstly, the effectiveness of two different types of tori-line (light streamer (1 m) and long streamer (up to 7 m) tori-line) and of two different colors (yellow and red) of light streamers for seabird bycatch avoidance was evaluated using 567 sets based on data from 20 offshore surface commercial longliners. No significant difference in the bycatch number between the different tori-line types and streamer colors was found. Secondly, we investigated the characteristics of the seabird bycatch in the North Pacific and the effectiveness of three different types of streamers (light, hybrid and modified light types) by detailed observations of seabird attacks using a chartered longline vessel. Although the appearance rate of albatrosses and shearwaters were 40.9% and 27.7%, Laysan albatross was the main seabird species that followed the vessel but shearwaters seldom followed the vessel and did not aggregate during line setting. In all attacks on bait observed during line settings, 81% and 7% were by albatrosses and shearwaters, respectively. In the number of primary attacks by Laysan albatrosses which attacked most aggressively of all seabirds, there were no significant differences among the tori-line types. No individuals of shearwater were caught. The results of both experiments indicated that light streamer tori-lines were as effective as tori-lines with long streamers for mitigating seabird bycatch in the North Pacific. PMID:22662169

  2. Lift and drag effects of wing-tip rake

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zahm, A F; Bear, R M; Hill, G C

    1923-01-01

    This report deals with a description and report of tests carried out at the Washington Navy Yard on models of the RAF-6, albatross and Slone airfoils to determine the effectiveness of the conventional wing-trailing edge being always longer than the leading edge. The results are compared with the values computed by standard formulae in use at the time the tests were conducted.

  3. Further Flight Tests on the Effectiveness of Handley Page Automatic Control Slots

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pleines, Wilhelm

    1932-01-01

    Investigation of damping in roll within range of maximum lift with the Albatross L 75, with and without Handley Page automatic control slots, revealed the following: Without control slots, any attempt to go beyond a certain angle of attack near c(sub a max) in glide and climb, is followed by sudden sideslip. The conduct of the airplane throughout the motions in roll, moreover, confirmed that all attempts to higher angles of attack are accompanied by sudden loss of damping in roll.

  4. A review of seabird energetics using the doubly labeled water method.

    PubMed

    Shaffer, Scott A

    2011-03-01

    The doubly labeled water (DLW) method has been essential for understanding animal energetics of free-ranging individuals. The first published studies on free-ranging seabirds were conducted on penguins in the early 1980s. Since then, nearly 50 seabird species with representatives from each major taxonomic order have been studied using DLW. Although the basic methodology has not changed, there are at least nine different equations, varying with respect to assumptions on fractionation and the total body water pool, to estimate field metabolic rate (FMR) from isotopic water turnover. In this review, I show that FMR can vary by as much as 45% depending on the equation used to calculate CO(2) production in five albatross species. Energy budgets derived from DLW measurements are critical tools for understanding patterns of energy use and allocation in seabirds. However, they depend on accurate and representative measurements of FMR, so analyses that include greater partitioning of activity specific FMR yield more realistic cost estimates. I also show how the combined use of DLW and biologging methods can 1) provide greater clarity for explaining observed variation in FMR measurements within a species and 2) allow FMRs to be viewed in a wider physiological, behavioral, or ecological context. Finally, I update existing allometric equations with new FMR data. These updates reaffirm that albatrosses have the lowest at-sea FMRs per equivalent body mass and that individuals of other seabird orders have FMRs ranging between 1.39 and 2.24 times higher than albatrosses. PMID:20656049

  5. Scaling of soaring seabirds and implications for flight abilities of giant pterosaurs.

    PubMed

    Sato, Katsufumi; Sakamoto, Kentaro Q; Watanuki, Yutaka; Takahashi, Akinori; Katsumata, Nobuhiro; Bost, Charles-André; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2009-01-01

    The flight ability of animals is restricted by the scaling effects imposed by physical and physiological factors. In comparisons of the power available from muscle and the mechanical power required to fly, it is predicted that the margin between the powers should decrease with body size and that flying animals have a maximum body size. However, predicting the absolute value of this upper limit has proven difficult because wing morphology and flight styles varies among species. Albatrosses and petrels have long, narrow, aerodynamically efficient wings and are considered soaring birds. Here, using animal-borne accelerometers, we show that soaring seabirds have two modes of flapping frequencies under natural conditions: vigorous flapping during takeoff and sporadic flapping during cruising flight. In these species, high and low flapping frequencies were found to scale with body mass (mass(-0.30) and mass(-0.18)) in a manner similar to the predictions from biomechanical flight models (mass(-1/3) and mass(-1/6)). These scaling relationships predicted that the maximum limits on the body size of soaring animals are a body mass of 41 kg and a wingspan of 5.1 m. Albatross-like animals larger than the limit will not be able to flap fast enough to stay aloft under unfavourable wind conditions. Our result therefore casts doubt on the flying ability of large, extinct pterosaurs. The largest extant soarer, the wandering albatross, weighs about 12 kg, which might be a pragmatic limit to maintain a safety margin for sustainable flight and to survive in a variable environment. PMID:19401767

  6. Scaling of Soaring Seabirds and Implications for Flight Abilities of Giant Pterosaurs

    PubMed Central

    Sato, Katsufumi; Sakamoto, Kentaro Q.; Watanuki, Yutaka; Takahashi, Akinori; Katsumata, Nobuhiro; Bost, Charles-André; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2009-01-01

    The flight ability of animals is restricted by the scaling effects imposed by physical and physiological factors. In comparisons of the power available from muscle and the mechanical power required to fly, it is predicted that the margin between the powers should decrease with body size and that flying animals have a maximum body size. However, predicting the absolute value of this upper limit has proven difficult because wing morphology and flight styles varies among species. Albatrosses and petrels have long, narrow, aerodynamically efficient wings and are considered soaring birds. Here, using animal-borne accelerometers, we show that soaring seabirds have two modes of flapping frequencies under natural conditions: vigorous flapping during takeoff and sporadic flapping during cruising flight. In these species, high and low flapping frequencies were found to scale with body mass (mass−0.30 and mass−0.18) in a manner similar to the predictions from biomechanical flight models (mass−1/3 and mass−1/6). These scaling relationships predicted that the maximum limits on the body size of soaring animals are a body mass of 41 kg and a wingspan of 5.1 m. Albatross-like animals larger than the limit will not be able to flap fast enough to stay aloft under unfavourable wind conditions. Our result therefore casts doubt on the flying ability of large, extinct pterosaurs. The largest extant soarer, the wandering albatross, weighs about 12 kg, which might be a pragmatic limit to maintain a safety margin for sustainable flight and to survive in a variable environment. PMID:19401767

  7. Correlating seabird movements with ocean winds: linking satellite telemetry with ocean scatterometry.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, Josh; Flora, Stephanie

    2010-01-01

    Satellite telemetry studies of the movements of seabirds are now common and have revealed impressive flight capabilities and extensive distributions among individuals and species at sea. Linking seabird movements with environmental conditions over vast expanses of the world's open ocean, however, remains difficult. Seabirds of the order Procellariiformes (e.g., petrels, albatrosses, and shearwaters) depend largely on wind and wave energy for efficient flight. We present a new method for quantifying the movements of far-ranging seabirds in relation to ocean winds measured by the SeaWinds scatterometer onboard the QuikSCAT satellite. We apply vector correlation (as defined by Crosby et al. in J Atm Ocean Tech 10:355-367, 1993) to evaluate how the trajectories (ground speed and direction) for five procellariiform seabirds outfitted with satellite transmitters are related to ocean winds. Individual seabirds (Sooty Shearwater, Pink-footed Shearwater, Hawaiian Petrel, Grey-faced Petrel, and Black-footed Albatross) all traveled predominantly with oblique, isotropic crossing to quartering tail-winds (i.e., 105-165 degrees in relation to birds' trajectory). For all five seabirds, entire track line trajectories were significantly correlated with co-located winds. Greatest correlations along 8-day path segments were related to wind patterns during birds' directed, long-range migration (Sooty Shearwater) as well as movements associated with mega-scale meteorological phenomena, including Pacific Basin anticyclones (Hawaiian Petrel, Grey-faced Petrel) and eastward-propagating north Pacific cyclones (Black-footed Albatross). Wind strength and direction are important factors related to the overall movements that delineate the distribution of petrels at sea. We suggest that vector correlation can be used to quantify movements for any marine vertebrate when tracking and environmental data (winds or currents) are of sufficient quality and sample size. Vector correlation coefficients

  8. Diving birds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clanet, Christophe; Masson, Lucien; McKinley, Gareth; Cohen, Robert; Ecole polytechnique Collaboration; MIT Collaboration

    2015-11-01

    Many seabirds (gannets, pelicans, gulls, albatrosses) dive into water at high speeds (25 m/s) in order to capture underwater preys. Diving depths of 20 body lengths are reported in the literature. This value is much larger than the one achieved by men, which is of the order of 5. We study this difference by comparing the impact of slender vs bluff bodies. We show that, contrary to bluff bodies, the penetration depth of slender bodies presents a maximum value for a specific impact velocity that we connect to the velocity of diving birds.

  9. The Physics of Foraging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viswanathan, Gandhimohan. M.; da Luz, Marcos G. E.; Raposo, Ernesto P.; Stanley, H. Eugene

    2011-06-01

    Part I. Introduction: Movement: 1. Empirical motivation for studying movement; 2. Statistical physics of biological motion; 3. Random walks and Lévy flights; 4. Wandering albatrosses; Part II. Experimental Findings: 5. Early studies; 6. Evidence of anomalous diffusion; 7. Human dispersal; 8. How strong is the evidence?; Part III. Theory of Foraging: 9. Optimizing encounter rates; 10. Lévy flight foraging; 11. Other search models; Part IV. Finale: A Broader Context: 12. Superdiffusive random searches; 13. Adaptational versus emergent superdiffusion; 14. Perspectives and open problems; Appendices; References; Index.

  10. Mars ultraviolet reflectance compared with imaging, topography and geology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simmons, K. E.; Mankoff, K. D.; Hendrix, A. R.; Barth, C. A.

    2003-04-01

    We compare ultraviolet reflectance spectra from the Mariner Mars 1971 (MM71) Ultraviolet Spectrometer (UVS) with imaging data from the Viking Mars Digital Image Model (MDIM), with surface topography from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA), and with geology from the USGS Survey Atlas of Mars digital maps. We use a new web-accessible database of MM71 UVS Reflectances and two software tools: 1) a surface and atmosphere database visualization tool called Albatross and 2) a web-based Mars data comparison tool called MDC. See http://lasp.colorado.edu/software_tools/. We present several examples, including the northern polar region and Lyot Crater.

  11. Design of a bio-inspired controller for dynamic soaring in a simulated unmanned aerial vehicle.

    PubMed

    Barate, Renaud; Doncieux, Stéphane; Meyer, Jean-Arcady

    2006-09-01

    This paper is inspired by the way birds such as albatrosses are able to exploit wind gradients at the surface of the ocean for staying aloft for very long periods while minimizing their energy expenditure. The corresponding behaviour has been partially reproduced here via a set of Takagi-Sugeno-Kang fuzzy rules controlling a simulated glider. First, the rules were hand-designed. Then, they were optimized with an evolutionary algorithm that improved their efficiency at coping with challenging conditions. Finally, the robustness properties of the controller generated were assessed with a view to its applicability to a real platform. PMID:17671309

  12. Avian poxvirus epizootic in a breeding population of Lesser Flamingos (Phoenicopterus minor) at Kamfers Dam, Kimberley, South Africa.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, David; Anderson, Mark D; Lane, Emily; van Wilpe, Erna; Carulei, Olivia; Douglass, Nicola; Williamson, Anna-Lise; Kotze, Antoinette

    2011-10-01

    Avian pox has a worldwide distribution, but prior to this investigation has not been reported in free-ranging flamingo populations. During observations of the first successful breeding of Lesser Flamingos on a purpose-built island, at Kamfers Dam near Kimberley, South Africa, multiple small, raised, crusted plaques on the legs and facial area were noticed on 30% of the fledgling flamingos. A diagnosis of avipoxvirus infection was made on the basis of the macroscopic, histologic, and electron microscopic features, and was further confirmed by DNA sequence analysis. The avipoxvirus detected was very similar to that previously detected in albatross and falcons. PMID:22102672

  13. Birds and Aircraft on Midway Islands, 1956-57 Investigations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kenyon, K.W.; Rice, D.W.; Robbins, C.S.; Aldrich, J.W.

    1958-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to determine the extent to which certain species of birds contribute to the hazard to aircraft at Midway; to learn more about the population dynamics and habits of these species to determine what type of control measures might be possible without endangering the species; and to test methods of control which are suggested. Most of the study has been devoted to the two species of albatrosses and the sooty terns nesting at Midway because of the current belief that these species offered the greatest danger to aircraft safety.

  14. The Effects of Spatially Heterogeneous Prey Distributions on Detection Patterns in Foraging Seabirds

    PubMed Central

    Miramontes, Octavio; Boyer, Denis; Bartumeus, Frederic

    2012-01-01

    Many attempts to relate animal foraging patterns to landscape heterogeneity are focused on the analysis of foragers movements. Resource detection patterns in space and time are not commonly studied, yet they are tightly coupled to landscape properties and add relevant information on foraging behavior. By exploring simple foraging models in unpredictable environments we show that the distribution of intervals between detected prey (detection statistics) is mostly determined by the spatial structure of the prey field and essentially distinct from predator displacement statistics. Detections are expected to be Poissonian in uniform random environments for markedly different foraging movements (e.g. Lévy and ballistic). This prediction is supported by data on the time intervals between diving events on short-range foraging seabirds such as the thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia). However, Poissonian detection statistics is not observed in long-range seabirds such as the wandering albatross (Diomedea exulans) due to the fractal nature of the prey field, covering a wide range of spatial scales. For this scenario, models of fractal prey fields induce non-Poissonian patterns of detection in good agreement with two albatross data sets. We find that the specific shape of the distribution of time intervals between prey detection is mainly driven by meso and submeso-scale landscape structures and depends little on the forager strategy or behavioral responses. PMID:22514629

  15. New, rare or remarkable microfungi in the Italian Alps (Carnic Alps)--part I--ascomycotina.

    PubMed

    Feige, G B; Ale-Agha, N; Jensen, M; Christiaans, B; Kricke, R

    2004-01-01

    During our observations in the SE part of the Carnic Alps in the year 2003 we were able to collect and identify 35 ascomycetes on trees and dead wood. Among these one can find numerous ascomycetes of different orders e.g. Pyrenomycetes, Loculoascomycetes and Discomycetes. Some species like Botryosphaeria ribis GROSENLUCHER & DUGGAR on Ribes alpinum L., Dothiora pyrenophora (FR.) FR. on Sorbus aucuparia L., Gemmamyces piceae (BORTH.) CASAGO. on Picea excelsa (LAM.) LINK, Glomerella montana (SACC.) v. ARX & E. MULLER on Sesleria caerulea (L.) ARD, Hymenoscyphus immutabilis (Fuck.) Dennis on Alnus incana (L.) Moench, Hysterographium fraxini (PERS. Ex. FR.) de Not. on Fraxinus ornus L., Lachnellula willkommii (Hartig) DENNIS [= Trichascyphella willkommii (Hartig) NANNF.] on Larix decidua MILL.,Leptosphaeria lycopodina (Mont.) SACC. on Lycopodium annotinum L., Mollisia adenostylidis REHM. on Adenostyles glabra (MILL.) DC., Pezicula cinnamomea (DC.)SACC. [ana: Cryptosporiopsis quercina PETRAK] on Quercus robur L., Pyrenopeziza petiolaris (A. & S. Ex FR.) NANNF. on Acer pseudoplatanus L., Tapesia rosae (PERS.) FUCKEL on Rosa canina L., are new for this area. All specimen are deposited in the Herbarium ESS Mycotheca Parva, Collection G.B. Feige/N. Ale-Agha. PMID:15756826

  16. Plastic ingestion by Procellariiformes in Southern Brazil.

    PubMed

    Colabuono, Fernanda I; Barquete, Viviane; Domingues, Beatriz S; Montone, Rosalinda C

    2009-01-01

    The Procellariiformes are the birds most affected by plastic pollution. Plastic fragments and pellets were the most frequent items found in the digestive tract of eight species of Procellariiformes incidentally caught by longline fisheries as well as beached birds in Southern Brazil. Plastic objects were found in 62% of the petrels and 12% of the albatrosses. The Great shearwater, Manx shearwater, Cory's shearwater and Antarctic fulmar were found to have greater quantities and frequencies of occurrence of plastic. There was no significant difference in the number of plastics between the birds from longline fisheries and beached birds. No correlation was found between the number of prey and number of plastics in the digestive tract of the birds analyzed, but this does not discard the hypothesis that, in some cases, the presence of plastic in the digestive tract has a negative effect on the feeding efficiency of these birds. PMID:18840384

  17. Fowl play and the price of petrel: long-living Procellariiformes have peroxidation-resistant membrane composition compared with short-living Galliformes.

    PubMed

    Buttemer, William A; Battam, Harry; Hulbert, A J

    2008-08-23

    The membrane pacemaker hypothesis predicts that long-living species will have more peroxidation-resistant membrane lipids than shorter living species. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the fatty acid composition of heart phospholipids from long-living Procellariiformes (petrels and albatrosses) to those of shorter living Galliformes (fowl). The seabirds were obtained from by-catch of commercial fishing operations and the fowl values from published data. The 3.8-fold greater predicted longevity of the seabirds was associated with elevated content of peroxidation-resistant monounsaturates and reduced content of peroxidation-prone polyunsaturates and, consequently, a significantly reduced peroxidation index in heart membrane lipids, compared with fowl. Peroxidation-resistant membrane composition may be an important physiological trait for longevous species. PMID:18492647

  18. An assessment of oceanic seabird abundance and distribution off the southern Brazilian coast using observations obtained during deep-water fishing operations.

    PubMed

    Branco, J O; Fracasso, H A A; Pérez, J A A; Rodrigues-Filho, J L

    2014-08-01

    The use of discarded fish over baited hooks used in longline fishery, and fish caught in gillnets, as a food source for gulls, albatrosses and petrels has been intensively studied in northern and southern oceans. This study describes the occurrence and abundance of seabirds observed from 20 foreign vessels which operated during the period between July 2001 and May 2005, off the southeastern and southern Brazilian coast. A total of 353,557 seabirds were observed; comprising eight families and 28 species. The most abundant species was Procellaria conspicillata followed by Daption capense, Puffinus gravis, Thalassarche melanophrys and Oceanites oceanicus. Ten species of seabirds (392 individual birds) were incidentally captured in gillnets; and 122 birds (9 species) by longline hooks, with P. gravis, D. capense and Procellaria aequinoctialis having the largest capture rates. PMID:25627361

  19. An experimental investigation of the low Reynolds number performance of the Lissaman 7769 airfoil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Conigliaro, P. E.

    1983-01-01

    A Lissaman 7769 airfoil, used on the Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross human-powered aircraft, was tested in a low turbulence subsonic wind tunnel. Lift and drag data were collected at chord Reynolds numbers of 100,000, 150,000, 200,000, 250,000, and 300,000; at angles of attack from -10 to +20 deg by using an external strain gage force balance. Lift curves, drag curves, and drag polars were generated from both uncorrected data and data corrected for wind tunnel blockage effects. A flow visualization study was performed to correlate with the force data. The results of the investigation have shown that the airfoil exhibits a significant degradation in performance for chord Reynolds numbers below 150,000.

  20. On the Minimum Induced Drag of Wings

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bowers, Albion H.

    2015-01-01

    Birds do not require the use of vertical tails. They do not appear to have any mechanism by which to control their yaw. As an example the albatross is notable in this regard. The authors believe this is possible because of a unique adaptation by which there exists a triple-optimal solution that provides the maximum aerodynamic efficiency, the minimum structural weight, and it provides for coordination of control in roll and yaw. Until now, this solution has eluded researchers, and remained unknown. Here it is shown that the correct specification of spanload provides for all three solutions at once, maximum aerodynamic efficiency, minimum structural weight, and coordinated control. The implications of this result has far reaching effects on the design of aircraft, as well as dramatic efficiency improvement.

  1. New species of Latreillopsis Henderson, 1888 (Brachyura: Homolidae) and Neopalicus Moosa & Serène, 1981 (Brachyura: Palicidae) from the Hawaiian Islands.

    PubMed

    Castro, Peter; Naruse, Tohru

    2014-01-01

    Two new species of brachyuran crabs belonging to Latreillopsis Henderson, 1888 (Homolidae) and Neopalicus Moosa & Serène, 1981 (Palicidae) respectively are described from Maui, Hawai'i. The new species of Latreillopsis is distinguished from its nine congeners by a granular carapace and pereopods, a triangular G1, and by the distinctive ornamentation of its carapace and third maxillipeds; the new species of Neopalicus from its three congeners by the presence of three triangular anterolateral teeth, absence of extensions on the outer margins of the P3 and P4 propodi, dentate inner margins of the P3, P4 dactyli, and absence of ridges on the female abdomen. Also listed is Latreillia metanesa Williams, 1982 (Latreilliidae), recorded for the first time from the archipelago since its description from Albatross material collected in 1902. PMID:24870630

  2. Paternal but not maternal age influences early-life performance of offspring in a long-lived seabird

    PubMed Central

    Fay, Rémi; Barbraud, Christophe; Delord, Karine; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2016-01-01

    Variability in demographic traits between individuals within populations has profound implications for both evolutionary processes and population dynamics. Parental effects as a source of non-genetic inheritance are important processes to consider to understand the causes of individual variation. In iteroparous species, parental age is known to influence strongly reproductive success and offspring quality, but consequences on an offspring fitness component after independence are much less studied. Based on 37 years longitudinal monitoring of a long-lived seabird, the wandering albatross, we investigate delayed effects of parental age on offspring fitness components. We provide evidence that parental age influences offspring performance beyond the age of independence. By distinguishing maternal and paternal age effects, we demonstrate that paternal age, but not maternal age, impacts negatively post-fledging offspring performance. PMID:27053738

  3. Algae.

    PubMed

    Raven, John A; Giordano, Mario

    2014-07-01

    Algae frequently get a bad press. Pond slime is a problem in garden pools, algal blooms can produce toxins that incapacitate or kill animals and humans and even the term seaweed is pejorative - a weed being a plant growing in what humans consider to be the wrong place. Positive aspects of algae are generally less newsworthy - they are the basis of marine food webs, supporting fisheries and charismatic marine megafauna from albatrosses to whales, as well as consuming carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Here we consider what algae are, their diversity in terms of evolutionary origin, size, shape and life cycles, and their role in the natural environment and in human affairs. PMID:25004359

  4. European Collaboration in Ocean Cores Science: roots, highlights, off-springs and vision.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henriet, Jean Pierre; Camoin, Gilbert; de Lange, Gert J.; Murphy, Shane

    2010-05-01

    July 4th, 1947, exactly 75 years after the legendary cruise of H.M.S. Challenger and at a time when ocean science seemed to definitively shift to the shores of Massachusetts and California, the Swedish 5-masted schooner and school-ship Albatross set sail from Göteborg for a 15-months ambitious voyage of circumnavigation of the world oceans. Staffed with cadets and scientists and headed by Hans Pettersson, the Albatross had on board a revolutionary tool: Kullenberg's piston corer, a 30m-long device which had already allowed the recovery of a 20m-long sediment core. Previously, the Meteor had recovered cores of a maximal length of 0.90m (1925), while in the thirties C.S. Piggot of the Carnegie Institution had "shot" cores up to 3m length in the North-Atlantic with a gun-like device. Sedimentological, geochemical, mineralogical, micropalaeontological analyses and radio-active dating would be carried out not only in Swedish institutes, but also in Vienna, Göttingen, Hanover, Wageningen, Ghent, Paris, London and La Jolla, in the true spirit of the data exploitation scheme which had shaped the success of the cruise of the Challenger. The stage was set for palaeo-environmental research on long sediment cores, archives of past climate and oceans. In the mid-sixties, ocean cores science takes a giant leap with the Deep Sea Drilling Program (DSDP). 20 years after the Albatross, in the fall of 1968, the Glomar Challenger sails from Dakar for the South Atlantic to verify the hypothesis of seafloor spreading and plate tectonics. Europe would join the Ocean Drilling Program (ODP), which set sail in 1984, subsequent to the International Phase of Ocean Drilling (IPOD, 1975-1983). For the first time, the European Science Foundation moves in, providing to numerous smaller European partners a platform of participation in ODP through ECOD, the European Consortium for Ocean Drilling. Some 50 years after the Albatross, the ‘Calypso' piston corer on board of R/V Marion Dufresne would

  5. Do naive juvenile seabirds forage differently from adults?

    PubMed

    Riotte-Lambert, Louise; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2013-10-01

    Foraging skills of young individuals are assumed to be inferior to those of adults. The reduced efficiency of naive individuals may be the primary cause of the high juvenile mortality and explain the deferment of maturity in long-lived species. However, the study of juvenile and immature foraging behaviour has been limited so far. We used satellite telemetry to compare the foraging movements of juveniles, immatures and breeding adult wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans, a species where foraging success is positively influenced by the distance covered daily. We showed that juveniles are able to use favourable winds as soon as the first month of independence, but cover shorter distances daily and spend more time sitting on water than adults during the first two months after fledging. These reduced movement capacities do not seem to be the cause of higher juvenile mortality. Moreover, juveniles almost never restrict their movement to specific areas, as adults and immatures frequently do over shelf edges or oceanic zones, which suggest that the location of appropriate areas is learned through experience. Immatures and adults have equivalent movement capacities, but when they are central place foragers, i.e. when adults breed or immatures come to the colony to display and pair, immatures make shorter trips than adults. The long duration of immaturity in this species seems to be related to a long period of learning to integrate the foraging constraints associated with reproduction and central place foraging. Our results indicate that foraging behaviour of young albatrosses is partly innate and partly learned progressively over immaturity. The first months of learning appear critical in terms of survival, whereas the long period of immaturity is necessary for young birds to attain the skills necessary for efficient breeding without fitness costs. PMID:23926153

  6. Age, sex, and breeding status shape a complex foraging pattern in an extremely long-lived seabird.

    PubMed

    Jaeger, Audrey; Goutte, Aurélie; Lecomte, Vincent J; Richard, Pierre; Chastel, Olivier; Barbraud, Christophe; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-08-01

    Evidence of age-dependent changes in foraging behavior of free-ranging individuals is scarce, especially at older stages. Using the isotopic niche as a proxy of the trophic niche during both the breeding (blood) and inter-nesting (feather) periods, we report here empirical evidence for age-, gender-, and breeding status-dependent foraging ecology and examine its potential consequences on subsequent reproduction and survival in an extremely long-lived species, the Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans). Immature Wandering Albatrosses of both sexes forage in the subtropics (delta13C) and feed at the same trophic position (delta15N) as the adults. In contrast to immature birds, adult females forage, on average, at more northern latitudes than males, with both sexes feeding in the subtropics during the internesting period, and males, not females, favoring subantarctic waters during incubation. In contrast to adult females, males show a unique pattern among birds and mammals of a continuous change with age in their main feeding habitat by foraging progressively farther south in colder waters during both the breeding and inter-nesting periods. In males, foraging at higher latitudes (lower feather delta13C values) is associated with a lower probability of breeding during the following years compared to other birds, but with no effect on their probability of surviving. Foraging in cold and windy waters may be linked to foraging impairment that might explain different life history trade-offs and lower investment in reproduction with age. This key point requires further longitudinal investigations and/or studies examining foraging success and the energy budget of birds feeding in different water masses. PMID:25230482

  7. Association of heavy metals with metallothionein and other proteins in hepatic cytosol of marine mammals and seabirds.

    PubMed

    Ikemoto, Tokutaka; Kunito, Takashi; Anan, Yasumi; Tanaka, Hiroyuki; Baba, Norihisa; Miyazaki, Nobuyuki; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2004-08-01

    Distribution of Cu, Zn, Cd, Ag, Hg, and Se were determined in hepatocytosol of northern fur seals (Callorhinus ursinus), black-footed albatrosses (Diomedea nigripes), and Dall's porpoises (Phocoenoides dalli). Copper, Zn, and Cd were accumulated preferentially in metallothionein (MT) fraction and their contents in MT fraction increased with the amounts in the hepatocytosol. Silver was bound to both high-molecular-weight substances (HMWS) and MT in the hepatocytosol for all three species, whereas the distribution of Ag in the cytosol was different among the three species. In northern fur seals, Ag mainly was bound to MT, whereas it mainly was associated with HMWS in Dall's porpoises. In contrast, Ag was distributed almost equally in both HMWS and MT for black-footed albatrosses. Mercury content in HMWS and Se content in HMWS and low-molecular-weight substances (LMWS) increased with their contents in hepatocytosol for all the three species. A significant positive correlation was found between Se and Hg contents in high-molecular weight (HMW) fraction in cytosol. The molar ratio of Hg and Se was close to unity in HMW fraction of the specimens with high Hg concentration in cytosol, implying that the Hg-Se complex was bound to the HMWS. Analysis of metals in the hepatocytosol by high-performance liquid chromatography/inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC/ICP-MS) suggests that multiple isoforms of MT are present in hepatocytosol of the three species and that the metal profiles in hepatocytosols are different among the species. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the association of Ag with HMWS and MT in hepatocytosol of marine mammals and seabirds. Also, distribution and interaction of Hg and Se were investigated for the first time in hepatocytosol of the higher trophic marine animals. PMID:15352491

  8. Mercury in feathers from Chilean birds: Influence of location, feeding strategy, and taxonomic affiliation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ochoa-Acua, H.; Sepulveda, M.S.; Gross, T.S.

    2002-01-01

    This study reports baseline concentrations of mercury (Hg) in feathers from different species of birds sampled at various locations off the Chilean coast (Southeastern Pacific). Hg concentrations were evaluated in relation to geographic location, taxonomic affiliation, and feeding strategies. Between January and March of 1995, we collected mature contour feathers from 116 birds belonging to 22 species, mostly seabirds. Birds were collected from 10 different locations (26??09???S, 70??40???W to 54??56???S, 67??37???W). Feather Hg concentrations ranged from 0.11 to 13 ??gg-1 dry weight. We found differences in feather Hg concentrations across taxonomic groups, with highest concentrations in petrels, shearwaters, and albatrosses (Procellaridae), followed by boobies (Sulidae), gulls, terns, skuas (Laridae) and cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae). Ibises and oystercatchers (Threskiornithidae and Charadriidae) had intermediate values, whereas ducks and geese (Anatidae) contained the least amount of Hg. Oceanic species preying on mesopelagic fish (the Procellariformes albatrosses, petrels, and fulmars) had over twice as much Hg (overall average of 3.9 ??gg-1) when compared to the rest of the species sampled (overall average of 1.5 ??gg-1). We did not find higher Hg concentrations in birds inhabiting the more heavily industrialized and urbanized areas of the country (central and northern regions), but in birds inhabiting the remote Juan Ferna??ndez Archipelago. This is not surprising, since all the Procellariformes (the group with highest Hg values in this study) were collected from these islands. Except for Hg in Kermadec petrels (mean of 12 ??gg-1), the range of Hg values reported here (0.11-7.3 ??gg-1) fell below those known to cause adverse health and reproductive effects in birds. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Mercury in feathers from Chilean birds: Influence of location, feeding strategy and taxonomic affiliation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ochoa-Acuna, H.G.; Sepulveda, M.S.; Gross, T.S.

    2002-01-01

    This study reports baseline concentrations of mercury (Hg) in feathers from different species of birds sampled at various locations off the Chilean coast (Southeastern Pacific). Hg concentrations were evaluated in relation to geographic location, taxonomic affiliation, and feeding strategies. Between January and March of 1995, we collected mature contour feathers from 116 birds belonging to 22 species, mostly seabirds. Birds were collected from 10 different locations (26?09'S, 70?40'W to 54?56'S, 67?37'W). Feather Hg concentrations ranged from 0.11 to 13 ?g g-1 dry weight. We found differences in feather Hg concentrations across taxonomic groups, with highest concentrations in petrels, shearwaters, and albatrosses (Procellaridae), followed by boobies (Sulidae), gulls, terns, skuas (Laridae) and cormorants (Phalacrocoracidae). Ibises and oystercatchers (Threskiornithidae and Charadriidae) had intermediate values, whereas ducks and geese (Anatidae) contained the least amount of Hg. Oceanic species preying on mesopelagic fish (the Procellariformes albatrosses, petrels, and fulmars) had over twice as much Hg (overall average of 3.9 ?g g-1) when compared to the rest of the species sampled (overall average of 1.5 ?g g-1). We did not find higher Hg concentrations in birds inhabiting the more heavily industrialized and urbanized areas of the country (central and northern regions), but in birds inhabiting the remote Juan Fernandez Archipelago. This is not surprising, since all the Procellariformes (the group with highest Hg values in this study) were collected from these islands. Except for Hg in Kermadec petrels (mean of 12 ?g g-1), the range of Hg values reported here (0.11-7.3 ?g g-1) fell below those known to cause adverse health and reproductive effects in birds.

  10. Do naive juvenile seabirds forage differently from adults?

    PubMed Central

    Riotte-Lambert, Louise; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2013-01-01

    Foraging skills of young individuals are assumed to be inferior to those of adults. The reduced efficiency of naive individuals may be the primary cause of the high juvenile mortality and explain the deferment of maturity in long-lived species. However, the study of juvenile and immature foraging behaviour has been limited so far. We used satellite telemetry to compare the foraging movements of juveniles, immatures and breeding adult wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans, a species where foraging success is positively influenced by the distance covered daily. We showed that juveniles are able to use favourable winds as soon as the first month of independence, but cover shorter distances daily and spend more time sitting on water than adults during the first two months after fledging. These reduced movement capacities do not seem to be the cause of higher juvenile mortality. Moreover, juveniles almost never restrict their movement to specific areas, as adults and immatures frequently do over shelf edges or oceanic zones, which suggest that the location of appropriate areas is learned through experience. Immatures and adults have equivalent movement capacities, but when they are central place foragers, i.e. when adults breed or immatures come to the colony to display and pair, immatures make shorter trips than adults. The long duration of immaturity in this species seems to be related to a long period of learning to integrate the foraging constraints associated with reproduction and central place foraging. Our results indicate that foraging behaviour of young albatrosses is partly innate and partly learned progressively over immaturity. The first months of learning appear critical in terms of survival, whereas the long period of immaturity is necessary for young birds to attain the skills necessary for efficient breeding without fitness costs. PMID:23926153

  11. Solar-powered Gossamer Penguin in flight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1979-01-01

    Gossamer Penguin in flight above Rogers Dry Lakebed at Edwards, California, showing the solar panel perpendicular to the wing and facing the sun. Background The first flight of a solar-powered aircraft took place on November 4, 1974, when the remotely controlled Sunrise II, designed by Robert J. Boucher of AstroFlight, Inc., flew following a launch from a catapult. Following this event, AeroVironment, Inc. (founded in 1971 by the ultra-light airplane innovator--Dr. Paul MacCready) took on a more ambitious project to design a human-piloted, solar-powered aircraft. The firm initially took the human-powered Gossamer Albatross II and scaled it down to three-quarters of its previous size for solar-powered flight with a human pilot controlling it. This was more easily done because in early 1980 the Gossamer Albatross had participated in a flight research program at NASA Dryden in a program conducted jointly by the Langley and Dryden research centers. Some of the flights were conducted using a small electric motor for power. Gossamer Penguin The scaled-down aircraft was designated the Gossamer Penguin. It had a 71-foot wingspan compared with the 96-foot span of the Gossamer Albatross. Weighing only 68 pounds without a pilot, it had a low power requirement and thus was an excellent test bed for solar power. AstroFlight, Inc., of Venice, Calif., provided the power plant for the Gossamer Penguin, an Astro-40 electric motor. Robert Boucher, designer of the Sunrise II, served as a key consultant for both this aircraft and the Solar Challenger. The power source for the initial flights of the Gossamer Penguin consisted of 28 nickel-cadmium batteries, replaced for the solar-powered flights by a panel of 3,920 solar cells capable of producing 541 Watts of power. The battery-powered flights took place at Shafter Airport near Bakersfield, Calif. Dr. Paul MacCready's son Marshall, who was 13 years old and weighed roughly 80 pounds, served as the initial pilot for these flights to

  12. Feather mercury concentrations in Southern Ocean seabirds: Variation by species, site and time.

    PubMed

    Becker, Peter H; Goutner, Vassilis; Ryan, Peter G; González-Solís, Jacob

    2016-09-01

    We studied mercury contamination in 25 seabird species breeding along a latitudinal gradient across the Southern Ocean, from Gough Island (40°S) through Marion Island (47°S) to Byers Peninsula (63°S). Total mercury concentrations in body feather samples of adults caught at breeding colonies from 2008 to 2011 were determined. Krill (Euphausia spp.) and other zooplankton consumers had low mercury concentrations (gentoo penguin Pygoscelis papua, chinstrap penguin Pseudomonas Antarctica, common diving petrel Pelecanoides urinatrix, broad-billed prion Pachyptila vittata; mean levels 308-753 ng g(-1)), whereas seabirds consuming squid or carrion had high mercury concentrations (ascending order: Kerguelen petrel Aphrodroma brevirostris, southern giant petrel Macronectes giganteus, soft-plumaged petrel Pterodroma mollis, sooty albatross Phoebetria fusca, Atlantic petrel Pterodroma incerta, northern giant petrel Macronectes halli, great-winged petrel Pterodroma macroptera; 10,720-28038 ng g(-1)). The two species with the highest mercury concentrations, northern giant petrels and great-winged petrels, bred at Marion Island. Among species investigated at multiple sites, southern giant petrels had higher mercury levels at Marion than at Gough Island and Byers Peninsula. Mercury levels among Byers Peninsula seabirds were low, in two species even lower than levels measured 10 years before at Bird Island, South Georgia. Replicate measurements after about 25 years at Gough Island showed much higher mercury levels in feathers of sooty albatrosses (by 187%), soft-plumaged petrels (53%) and Atlantic petrels (49%). Concentrations similar to the past were detected in southern giant petrels at Gough and Marion islands, and in northern giant petrels at Marion. There were no clear indications that timing of moult or migratory behavior affected mercury contamination patterns among species. Causes of inter-site or temporal differences in mercury contamination could not be verified

  13. Population density and climate shape early-life survival and recruitment in a long-lived pelagic seabird.

    PubMed

    Fay, Rémi; Weimerskirch, Henri; Delord, Karine; Barbraud, Christophe

    2015-09-01

    1. Our understanding of demographic processes is mainly based on analyses of traits from the adult component of populations. Early-life demographic traits are poorly known mainly for methodological reasons. Yet, survival of juvenile and immature individuals is critical for the recruitment into the population and thus for the whole population dynamic, especially for long-lived species. This bias currently restrains our ability to fully understand population dynamics of long-lived species and life-history theory. 2. The goal of this study was to estimate the early-life demographic parameters of a long-lived species with a long immature period (9-10 years), to test for sex and age effects on these parameters and to identify the environmental factors encountered during the period of immaturity that may influence survival and recruitment. 3. Using capture-mark-recapture multievent models allowing us to deal with uncertain and unobservable individual states, we analysed a long-term data set of wandering albatrosses to estimate both age- and sex-specific early-life survival and recruitment. We investigated environmental factors potentially driving these demographic traits using climatic and fisheries covariates and tested for density dependence. 4. Our study provides for the first time an estimate of annual survival during the first 2 years at sea for an albatross species (0·801 ± 0·014). Both age and sex affected early-life survival and recruitment processes of this long-lived seabird species. Early-life survival and recruitment were highly variable across years although the sensitivity of young birds to environmental variability decreased with age. Early-life survival was negatively associated with sea surface temperature, and recruitment rate was positively related to both Southern Annular Mode and sea surface temperature. We found strong evidence for density-dependent mortality of juveniles. Population size explained 41% of the variation of this parameter over the

  14. Evidence for an age-dependent influence of environmental variations on a long-lived seabird's life-history traits.

    PubMed

    Pardo, Deborah; Barbraud, Christophe; Authier, Matthieu; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical and empirical studies have highlighted the effects of age on several life-history traits in wild populations. There is also increasing evidence for environmental effects on their demographic traits. However, quantifying how individuals differentially respond to environmental variations according to their age remains a challenge in ecology. In a population of Black-browed Albatrosses monitored during 43 years, we analyzed how life-history traits varied according to age, and whether individuals of different ages responded in different ways to environmental conditions. To do so, we: (1) examined how age affected seven life-history traits, (2) investigated differences in temporal variance of demographic traits between age classes, and (3) tested for age-dependent effects of climate and fisheries covariates on demographic traits. Overall, there was a tendency for traits to improve during the first years of life (5-10 years), to peak and remain stable at middle age (10-30 years), and decline at old ages. At young ages, survival and reproductive parameters increased, except offspring body condition at fledging, suggesting that younger parents had already acquired good foraging capacities. However, they suffered from inexperience in breeding as suggested by their higher breeding failures during incubation. There was evidence for reproductive and actuarial senescence. In particular, breeding success and offspring body condition declined abruptly, suggesting altered foraging capacities of old individuals. Middle-aged individuals had the lowest temporal variance of demographic traits. Although this is predicted by the theory of environmental canalization, it could also results from a higher susceptibility of young and old birds due to their respective inexperience and senescence. The highest temporal variances were found in old individuals. Survival was significantly influenced by sea surface temperatures in the foraging zone of this albatross population during

  15. BP-Broker use-cases in the UncertWeb framework

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roncella, Roberto; Bigagli, Lorenzo; Schulz, Michael; Stasch, Christoph; Proß, Benjamin; Jones, Richard; Santoro, Mattia

    2013-04-01

    The UncertWeb framework is a distributed, Web-based Information and Communication Technology (ICT) system to support scientific data modeling in presence of uncertainty. We designed and prototyped a core component of the UncertWeb framework: the Business Process Broker. The BP-Broker implements several functionalities, such as: discovery of available processes/BPs, preprocessing of a BP into its executable form (EBP), publication of EBPs and their execution through a workflow-engine. According to the Composition-as-a-Service (CaaS) approach, the BP-Broker supports discovery and chaining of modeling resources (and processing resources in general), providing the necessary interoperability services for creating, validating, editing, storing, publishing, and executing scientific workflows. The UncertWeb project targeted several scenarios, which were used to evaluate and test the BP-Broker. The scenarios cover the following environmental application domains: biodiversity and habitat change, land use and policy modeling, local air quality forecasting, and individual activity in the environment. This work reports on the study of a number of use-cases, by means of the BP-Broker, namely: - eHabitat use-case: implements a Monte Carlo simulation performed on a deterministic ecological model; an extended use-case supports inter-comparison of model outputs; - FERA use-case: is composed of a set of models for predicting land-use and crop yield response to climatic and economic change; - NILU use-case: is composed of a Probabilistic Air Quality Forecasting model for predicting concentrations of air pollutants; - Albatross use-case: includes two model services for simulating activity-travel patterns of individuals in time and space; - Overlay use-case: integrates the NILU scenario with the Albatross scenario to calculate the exposure to air pollutants of individuals. Our aim was to prove the feasibility of describing composite modeling processes with a high-level, abstract

  16. Olfaction in petrels: from homing to self-odor avoidance.

    PubMed

    Bonadonna, Francesco

    2009-07-01

    In the 1960s, Betsy Bang unraveled the complexity of the olfactory apparatus of procellariiform seabirds (petrels and albatrosses), suggesting an important role for olfaction in their ecology. Shortly thereafter, Prof. B. Wenzel continued the investigations on petrels' well-developed olfactory neuroanatomy as well as their sensitivity to food-related scents. Later studies demonstrated further that the sense of smell is also critical to these birds when homing to their burrow. Building on these findings, we have demonstrated in several petrel species the importance of the burrow olfactory signature in homing. The nature of this olfactory signature relies predominantly on their mate's odor. Indeed, in our Y-maze experiments, Antarctic prions (Pachyptila desolata) and blue petrels (Halobaena caerulea) could discriminate between their own and their mates' odors. However, although they are attracted by their mate odor, they prefer the odor of a conspecific bird to their own. These results have drawn attention to the possible use of chemical signals in birds' social behaviors, such as individual recognition and/or mate choice. Indeed, petrel life history traits suggest that olfactory-mediated mate choice may have evolved in this group to ensure genetic compatibility between mates. We have recently shown that a bird's semiochemical profile is more similar to itself, year after year, than to that of a conspecific. As a result, a novel function of olfaction emerges in petrels: the perception of a chemical signal that may broadcast individuals' identity and quality, thereby contributing to an optimal mate choice. PMID:19686171

  17. Gillnet fisheries as a major mortality factor of Magellanic penguins in wintering areas.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Luis Gustavo; Bugoni, Leandro; Mancini, Patrícia Luciano; Haimovici, Manuel

    2011-04-01

    The incidental capture in fisheries is probably the main conservation problem affecting seabirds. While the capture of albatrosses and petrels on longline hooks is well-known worldwide, the bycatch of diving seabirds in gillnets is an overlooked conservation problem. During a winter coastal fishing trip, the capture of Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) was recorded in driftnet and bottom setnet fisheries for the first time in southern Brazil. The highest captures rates were found in driftnets, from 146.5 to 545.5 penguins/km² of net and a total of 56 dead penguins were recorded. In the bottom gillnet, a total of 12 birds were killed and the capture rates varied from 41.7 to 125.0 penguins/km² of net. Although preliminary, the results presented in this paper were consistent between sets. If we consider the magnitude of driftnet and setnet fishing fleets, and that most dead penguins were adults, the impact upon Magellanic penguin populations is probably significant. PMID:21376348

  18. Polar marine biology science in Portugal and Spain: Recent advances and future perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xavier, José C.; Barbosa, Andrés; Agustí, Susana; Alonso-Sáez, Laura; Alvito, Pedro; Ameneiro, Julia; Ávila, Conxita; Baeta, Alexandra; Canário, João; Carmona, Raquel; Catry, Paulo; Ceia, Filipe; Clark, Melody S.; Cristobo, Francisco J.; Cruz, Bruno; Duarte, Carlos M.; Figuerola, Blanca; Gili, Josep-Maria; Gonçalves, Ana R.; Gordillo, Francisco J. L.; Granadeiro, José P.; Guerreiro, Miguel; Isla, Enrique; Jiménez, Carlos; López-González, Pablo J.; Lourenço, Sílvia; Marques, João C.; Moreira, Elena; Mota, Ana M.; Nogueira, Marta; Núñez-Pons, Laura; Orejas, Covadonga; Paiva, Vitor H.; Palanques, Albert; Pearson, Gareth A.; Pedrós-Alió, Carlos; Peña Cantero, Álvaro L.; Power, Deborah M.; Ramos, Jaime A.; Rossi, Sergi; Seco, José; Sañé, Elisabet; Serrão, Ester A.; Taboada, Sergi; Tavares, Sílvia; Teixidó, Núria; Vaqué, Dolors; Valente, Tiago; Vázquez, Elsa; Vieira, Rui P.; Viñegla, Benjamin

    2013-10-01

    Polar marine ecosystems have global ecological and economic importance because of their unique biodiversity and their major role in climate processes and commercial fisheries, among others. Portugal and Spain have been highly active in a wide range of disciplines in marine biology of the Antarctic and the Arctic. The main aim of this paper is to provide a synopsis of some of the results and initiatives undertaken by Portuguese and Spanish polar teams within the field of marine sciences, particularly on benthic and pelagic biodiversity (species diversity and abundance, including microbial, molecular, physiological and chemical mechanisms in polar organisms), conservation and ecology of top predators (particularly penguins, albatrosses and seals), and pollutants and evolution of marine organisms associated with major issues such as climate change, ocean acidification and UV radiation effects. Both countries have focused their polar research more in the Antarctic than in the Arctic. Portugal and Spain should encourage research groups to continue increasing their collaborations with other countries and develop multi-disciplinary research projects, as well as to maintain highly active memberships within major organizations, such as the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR), the International Arctic Science Council (IASC) and the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS), and in international research projects.

  19. Stochastic resonance and the evolution of Daphnia foraging strategy.

    PubMed

    Dees, Nathan D; Bahar, Sonya; Moss, Frank

    2008-01-01

    Search strategies are currently of great interest, with reports on foraging ranging from albatrosses and spider monkeys to microzooplankton. Here, we investigate the role of noise in optimizing search strategies. We focus on the zooplankton Daphnia, which move in successive sequences consisting of a hop, a pause and a turn through an angle. Recent experiments have shown that their turning angle distributions (TADs) and underlying noise intensities are similar across species and age groups, suggesting an evolutionary origin of this internal noise. We explore this hypothesis further with a digital simulation (EVO) based solely on the three central Darwinian themes: inheritability, variability and survivability. Separate simulations utilizing stochastic resonance (SR) indicate that foraging success, and hence fitness, is maximized at an optimum TAD noise intensity, which is represented by the distribution's characteristic width, sigma. In both the EVO and SR simulations, foraging success is the criterion, and the results are the predicted characteristic widths of the TADs that maximize success. Our results are twofold: (1) the evolving characteristic widths achieve stasis after many generations; (2) as a hop length parameter is changed, variations in the evolved widths generated by EVO parallel those predicted by SR. These findings provide support for the hypotheses that (1) sigma is an evolved quantity and that (2) SR plays a role in evolution. PMID:19029598

  20. Global cooperation among diverse organizations to reduce illegal fishing in the Southern Ocean.

    PubMed

    Osterblom, Henrik; Bodin, Orjan

    2012-08-01

    Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing is prevalent globally and has detrimental effects on commercial fish stocks and nontarget species. Effective monitoring and enforcement aimed at reducing the level of IUU fishing in extensive, remote ocean fisheries requires international collaboration. Changes in trade and vessel activities further complicate enforcement. We used a web-based survey of governmental and nongovernmental organizations engaged in reducing IUU fishing in the Southern Ocean to collect information on interorganizational collaborations. We used social-network analyses to examine the nature of collaborations among the identified 117 organizations engaged in reducing IUU fishing. International collaboration improved the ability to control and manage harvest of commercially important toothfish (Dissostichus spp.) stocks and reduced bycatch of albatrosses (Diomedeidae) and petrels (Procellariidae) in longlines of IUU fishing vessels. The diverse group of surveyed organizations cooperated frequently, thereby making a wide range of resources available for improved detection of suspected IUU vessels and trade flows, cooperation aimed at prosecuting suspected offenders or developing new policy measures. Our results suggest the importance of a central agency for coordination and for maintaining commonly agreed-upon protocols for communication that facilities collaboration. Despite their differences, the surveyed organizations have developed common perceptions about key problems associated with IUU fishing. This has likely contributed to a sustained willingness to invest in collaborations. Our results show that successful international environmental governance can be accomplished through interorganizational collaborations. Such cooperation requires trust, continuous funding, and incentives for actors to participate. PMID:22624623

  1. The influence of developmental environment on the evolution of olfactory foraging behaviour in procellariiform seabirds.

    PubMed

    van Buskirk, R W; Nevitt, G A

    2008-01-01

    The evolutionary origins of foraging behaviour by procellariiform seabirds (petrels, albatrosses and shearwaters) are poorly understood. Moreover, proximate factors affecting foraging ecology, such as the influence of environment on the development of sensory systems, have yet to be addressed. Here, we apply comparative methods based on current procellariiform phylogenies to identify associations between sensory modalities and the developmental environment that may underlie the evolution of complex foraging behaviour. We postulate that, for burrow-nesting species, smell is likely to dominate the sensory world of the developing chick. Alternatively, for ground-nesting species, chicks receive exposure to a range of visual, auditory and olfactory cues. We employ maximum likelihood to test models of correlated trait evolution between nesting habit and olfactory foraging style and to reconstruct the ancestral states of these characters when coded as binary states. Our results suggest that nesting behaviour has evolved in conjunction with foraging style. Based on this analysis, we propose that nesting on the surface was a life-history innovation that opened up a new developmental environment with profound effects on the foraging ecology of procellariiform seabirds. PMID:18021198

  2. Shipborne measurements with a modular multipurpose mobile lidar system for tropospheric and stratospheric aerosol observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schaefer, Juergen; Schrems, Otto; Beyerle, Georg; Hofer, Bernd; Mildner, Wolfgang; Theopold, Felix A.

    1997-05-01

    In our contribution water vapor and aerosol measurements with a new modular two wavelength Rayleigh Raman lidar instrument are described. A comparison of the data with radiosonde data are shown and the results discussed. The new mobile aerosol Raman lidar (MARL) is able to measure aerosol backscatter and extinction coefficient as well as depolarization in the altitude range 5 to 50 km. The system is operational since July 1996 and participated at the ALBATROSS (atmospheric chemistry and lidar studies above the Atlantic Ocean related to ozone and other trace gases in the tropo and stratosphere) campaign aboard the German research vessel Polarstern on a cruise from Bremerhaven, Germany to Punta Quilla, Argentina in October/November 1996. Key parts of the lidar system include a frequency doubled and tripled Nd:YAG laser, a large receiving telescope mirror (1.15 m diameter) and a sophisticated polychromator. The system's power aperture product is more than 9 Wm2 on each wavelength (532 nm and 355 nm). The instrument is installed in a standard 20 ft ISO container and is operational in polar as well as tropical environments wherever a supply with electrical power is available.

  3. Hormonal correlates of individual quality in a long-lived bird: a test of the 'corticosterone-fitness hypothesis'.

    PubMed

    Angelier, Frédéric; Wingfield, John C; Weimerskirch, Henri; Chastel, Olivier

    2010-12-23

    Measuring individual quality in vertebrates is difficult. Focusing on allostasis mechanisms may be useful because they are functionally involved in the ability of an individual to survive and reproduce in its environment. Thus, a rise in stress hormones levels (corticosterone) occurs when an organism has to cope with challenging environmental conditions. This has recently led to the proposal of the 'cort-fitness hypothesis', which suggests that elevated baseline corticosterone levels should be found in individuals of poor quality that have difficulty coping with their environment. We tested this hypothesis by comparing an integrative measure of individual quality to baseline corticosterone in black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys). We found that individual baseline corticosterone levels were related to individual quality and highly repeatable from one breeding season to the next. Importantly, this relationship was found in males, but not in females. Therefore, we suggest that the relationship between quality and baseline corticosterone levels may depend on the environmental and energetic constraints that individuals have to cope with. PMID:20573614

  4. Mercury exposure in a large subantarctic avian community.

    PubMed

    Carravieri, Alice; Cherel, Yves; Blévin, Pierre; Brault-Favrou, Maud; Chastel, Olivier; Bustamante, Paco

    2014-07-01

    Mercury (Hg) contamination poses potential threats to ecosystems worldwide. In order to study Hg bioavailability in the poorly documented southern Indian Ocean, Hg exposure was investigated in the large avian community of Kerguelen Islands. Adults of 27 species (480 individuals) showed a wide range of feather Hg concentrations, from 0.4 ± 0.1 to 16.6 ± 3.8 μg g(-1) dry weight in Wilson's storm petrels and wandering albatrosses, respectively. Hg concentrations increased roughly in the order crustacean- < fish- ≤ squid- ≤ carrion-consumers, confirming that diet, rather than taxonomy, is an important driver of avian Hg exposure. Adults presented higher Hg concentrations than chicks, due to a longer duration of exposure, with the only exception being the subantarctic skua, likely because of feeding habits' differences of the two age-classes in this species. High Hg concentrations were reported for three species of the poorly known gadfly petrels, which merit further investigation. PMID:24727293

  5. Senescence rates and late adulthood reproductive success are strongly influenced by personality in a long-lived seabird.

    PubMed

    Patrick, Samantha C; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-22

    Studies are increasingly demonstrating that individuals differ in their rate of ageing, and this is postulated to emerge from a trade-off between current and future reproduction. Recent theory predicts a correlation between individual personality and life-history strategy, and from this comes the prediction that personality may predict the intensity of senescence. Here we show that boldness correlates with reproductive success and foraging behaviour in wandering albatrosses, with strong sex-specific differences. Shy males show a strong decline in reproductive performance with age, and bold females have lower reproductive success in later adulthood. In both sexes, bolder birds have longer foraging trips and gain more mass per trip as they get older. However, the benefit of this behaviour appears to differ between the sexes, such that it is only matched by high reproductive success in males. Together our results suggest that personality linked foraging adaptations with age are strongly sex-specific in their fitness benefits and that the impact of boldness on senescence is linked to ecological parameters. PMID:25473008

  6. COMMUNICATION: Stochastic resonance and the evolution of Daphnia foraging strategy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dees, Nathan D.; Bahar, Sonya; Moss, Frank

    2008-12-01

    Search strategies are currently of great interest, with reports on foraging ranging from albatrosses and spider monkeys to microzooplankton. Here, we investigate the role of noise in optimizing search strategies. We focus on the zooplankton Daphnia, which move in successive sequences consisting of a hop, a pause and a turn through an angle. Recent experiments have shown that their turning angle distributions (TADs) and underlying noise intensities are similar across species and age groups, suggesting an evolutionary origin of this internal noise. We explore this hypothesis further with a digital simulation (EVO) based solely on the three central Darwinian themes: inheritability, variability and survivability. Separate simulations utilizing stochastic resonance (SR) indicate that foraging success, and hence fitness, is maximized at an optimum TAD noise intensity, which is represented by the distribution's characteristic width, σ. In both the EVO and SR simulations, foraging success is the criterion, and the results are the predicted characteristic widths of the TADs that maximize success. Our results are twofold: (1) the evolving characteristic widths achieve stasis after many generations; (2) as a hop length parameter is changed, variations in the evolved widths generated by EVO parallel those predicted by SR. These findings provide support for the hypotheses that (1) σ is an evolved quantity and that (2) SR plays a role in evolution.

  7. Maneuvering control and configuration adaptation of a biologically inspired morphing aircraft

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdulrahim, Mujahid

    Natural flight as a source of inspiration for aircraft design was prominent with early aircraft but became marginalized as aircraft became larger and faster. With recent interest in small unmanned air vehicles, biological inspiration is a possible technology to enhance mission performance of aircraft that are dimensionally similar to gliding birds. Serial wing joints, loosely modeling the avian skeletal structure, are used in the current study to allow significant reconfiguration of the wing shape. The wings are reconfigured to optimize aerodynamic performance and maneuvering metrics related to specific mission tasks. Wing shapes for each mission are determined and related to the seagulls, falcons, albatrosses, and non-migratory African swallows on which the aircraft are based. Variable wing geometry changes the vehicle dynamics, affording versatility in flight behavior but also requiring appropriate compensation to maintain stability and controllability. Time-varying compensation is in the form of a baseline controller which adapts to both the variable vehicle dynamics and to the changing mission requirements. Wing shape is adapted in flight to minimize a cost function which represents energy, temporal, and spatial efficiency. An optimal control architecture unifies the control and adaptation tasks.

  8. Habitat associations of floating debris and marine birds in the North East Pacific Ocean at coarse and meso spatial scales.

    PubMed

    Titmus, Andrew J; Hyrenbach, K David

    2011-11-01

    While many surface foraging seabirds ingest plastic, the spatial overlap of these far-ranging predators with debris aggregations at-sea is poorly understood. We surveyed concurrent distributions of marine birds and debris along a 4400 km cruise track within a debris accumulation area in the North East Pacific Ocean using line and strip transect methods. Analysis of debris and bird distributions revealed associations with oceanographic and weather variables at two spatial scales: daily surveys and hourly transects. Hourly bird abundance (densities; 0-9 birds km(-2)) was higher in lower wind and shallower water. Hourly debris abundance (densities; 0-15,222 pieces km(-2)) was higher in lower wind, higher sea-level atmospheric pressure and deeper water. These results suggest that debris and seabird abundance and community structure are influenced by similar environmental processes, but in opposing ways, with only three far-ranging seabird species (Black-footed Albatross, Cook's Petrel and Red-tailed Tropicbird) overlapping with high debris concentrations over meso-scales. PMID:21889172

  9. Bias, precision, and parameter redundancy in complex multistate models with unobservable states.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Larissa L; Converse, Sarah J; Kendall, William L

    2010-06-01

    Multistate mark-recapture models with unobservable states can yield unbiased estimators of survival probabilities in the presence of temporary emigration (i.e., in cases where some individuals are temporarily unavailable for capture). In addition, these models permit the estimation of transition probabilities between states, which may themselves be of interest; for example, when only breeding animals are available for capture. However, parameter redundancy is frequently a problem in these models, yielding biased parameter estimates and influencing model selection. Using numerical methods, we examine complex multistate mark-recapture models involving two observable and two unobservable states. This model structure was motivated by two different biological systems: one involving island-nesting albatross, and another involving pond-breeding amphibians. We found that, while many models are theoretically identifiable given appropriate constraints, obtaining accurate and precise parameter estimates in practice can be difficult. Practitioners should consider ways to increase detection probabilities or adopt robust design sampling in order to improve the properties of estimates obtained from these models. We suggest that investigators interested in using these models explore both theoretical identifiability and possible near-singularity for likely parameter values using a combination of available methods. PMID:20583702

  10. The Environmental-Data Automated Track Annotation (Env-DATA) System: Linking Animal Tracks with Environmental Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bohrer, G.; Dodge, S.; Weinzierl, R.; Davidson, S. C.; Kays, R.; Douglas, D. C.; Brandes, D.; Bildstein, K.; Wikelski, M.

    2013-12-01

    The movement of animals is strongly influenced by external factors in their surrounding environment such as weather, habitat types, and human land use. With the advances in positioning and sensor technologies, it is now possible to capture data of animal locations at high spatial and temporal granularities. Likewise, modern technology provides us with an increasing access to large volumes of environmental data, some of which changes on an hourly basis. Although there have been strong developments in computational methods for the analysis of movement in its environmental context, there remain challenges in efficiently linking the spatiotemporal locations of animals with the appropriate environmental conditions along their trajectories. To this end, our new Environmental-Data Automated Track Annotation (Env-DATA) system enhances Movebank, an open portal of animal tracking data, by automating access to environmental variables from global remote sensing, weather, and ecosystem products. The system automates the download and decryption of the data from open web resources of remote sensing and weather data, and provides several interpolation methods from the native grid resolution and structure to a global regular grid linked with the movement tracks in space and time. The system is open and free to any user with movement data. The aim is to facilitate new understanding and predictive capabilities of spatiotemporal patterns of animal movement in response to dynamic and changing environments from local to global scales. The system is illustrated with a series of case studies of pan-American migrations of turkey vultures, and foraging flights of Galapagos Albatross.

  11. Prevalence of blood parasites in seabirds - a review

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Introduction While blood parasites are common in many birds in the wild, some groups seem to be much less affected. Seabirds, in particular, have often been reported free from blood parasites, even in the presence of potential vectors. Results From a literature review of hemosporidian prevalence in seabirds, we collated a dataset of 60 species, in which at least 15 individuals had been examined. These data were included in phylogenetically controlled statistical analyses of hemosporidian prevalence in relation to ecological and life-history parameters. Haemoproteus parasites were common in frigatebirds and gulls, while Hepatozoon occurred in albatrosses and storm petrels, and Plasmodium mainly in penguins. The prevalence of Haemoproteus showed a geographical signal, being lower in species with distribution towards polar environments. Interspecific differences in Plasmodium prevalence were explained by variables that relate to the exposure to parasites, suggesting that prevalence is higher in burrow nesters with long fledgling periods. Measures of Plasmodium, but not Haemoproteus prevalences were influenced by the method, with PCR-based data resulting in higher prevalence estimates. Conclusions Our analyses suggest that, as in other avian taxa, phylogenetic, ecological and life-history parameters determine the prevalence of hemosporidian parasites in seabirds. We discuss how these relationships should be further explored in future studies. PMID:22035144

  12. Intrinsic Lévy behaviour in organisms - searching for a mechanism. Comment on "Liberating Lévy walk research from the shackles of optimal foraging" by A.M. Reynolds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sims, David W.

    2015-09-01

    The seminal papers by Viswanathan and colleagues in the late 1990s [1,2] proposed not only that scale-free, superdiffusive Lévy walks can describe the free-ranging movement patterns observed in animals such as the albatross [1], but that the Lévy walk was optimal for searching for sparsely and randomly distributed resource targets [2]. This distinct advantage, now shown to be present over a much broader set of conditions than originally theorised [3], implied that the Lévy walk is a search strategy that should be found very widely in organisms [4]. In the years since there have been several influential empirical studies showing that Lévy walks can indeed be detected in the movement patterns of a very broad range of taxa, from jellyfish, insects, fish, reptiles, seabirds, humans [5-10], and even in the fossilised trails of extinct invertebrates [11]. The broad optimality and apparent deep evolutionary origin of movement (search) patterns that are well approximated by Lévy walks led to the development of the Lévy flight foraging (LFF) hypothesis [12], which states that "since Lévy flights and walks can optimize search efficiencies, therefore natural selection should have led to adaptations for Lévy flight foraging".

  13. Morphometric analysis of telencephalic structure in a variety of neognath and paleognath bird species reveals regional differences associated with specific behavioral traits.

    PubMed

    Corfield, Jeremy R; Wild, J Martin; Parsons, Stuart; Kubke, M Fabiana

    2012-01-01

    Birds exhibit a huge array of behavior, ecology and physiology, and occupy nearly every environment on earth, ranging from the desert outback of Australia to the tropical rain forests of Panama. Some birds have adopted a fully nocturnal lifestyle, such as the barn owl and kiwi, while others, such as the albatross, spend nearly their entire life flying over the ocean. Each species has evolved unique adaptations over millions of years to function in their respective niche. In order to increase processing power or network efficiency, many of these adaptations require enlargements and/or specializations of the brain as a whole or of specific brain regions. In this study, we examine the relative size and morphology of 9 telencephalic regions in a number of Paleognath and Neognath birds and relate the findings to differences in behavior and sensory ecology. We pay particular attention to those species that have undergone a relative enlargement of the telencephalon to determine whether this relative increase in telencephalic size is homogeneous across different brain regions or whether particular regions have become differentially enlarged. The analysis indicates that changes in the relative size of telencephalic regions are not homogeneous, with every species showing hypertrophy or hypotrophy of at least one of them. The three-dimensional structure of these regions in different species was also variable, in particular that of the mesopallium in kiwi. The findings from this study provide further evidence that the changes in relative brain size in birds reflect a process of mosaic evolution. PMID:22890218

  14. Fisheries Bycatch as an Inadvertent Human-Induced Evolutionary Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Barbraud, Christophe; Tuck, Geoffrey N.; Thomson, Robin; Delord, Karine; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2013-01-01

    Selective harvesting of animals by humans can affect the sustainability and genetics of their wild populations. Bycatch - the accidental catch of non-target species - spans the spectrum of marine fauna and constitutes a harvesting pressure. Individual differences in attraction to fishing vessels and consequent susceptibility to bycatch exist, but few studies integrate this individual heterogeneity with demography. Here, we tested for the evidence and consequences of individual heterogeneity on the demography of the wandering albatross, a seabird heavily affected by fisheries bycatch. We found strong evidence for heterogeneity in survival with one group of individuals having a 5.2% lower annual survival probability than another group, and a decrease in the proportion of those individuals with the lowest survival in the population coinciding with a 7.5 fold increase in fishing effort in the foraging areas. Potential causes for the heterogeneity in survival are discussed and we suggest that bycatch removed a large proportion of individuals attracted by fishing vessels and had significant phenotypic and population consequences. PMID:23593199

  15. How cheap is soaring flight in raptors? A preliminary investigation in freely-flying vultures.

    PubMed

    Duriez, Olivier; Kato, Akiko; Tromp, Clara; Dell'Omo, Giacomo; Vyssotski, Alexei L; Sarrazin, François; Ropert-Coudert, Yan

    2014-01-01

    Measuring the costs of soaring, gliding and flapping flight in raptors is challenging, but essential for understanding their ecology. Among raptors, vultures are scavengers that have evolved highly efficient soaring-gliding flight techniques to minimize energy costs to find unpredictable food resources. Using electrocardiogram, GPS and accelerometer bio-loggers, we report the heart rate (HR) of captive griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus and G. himalayensis) trained for freely-flying. HR increased three-fold at take-off (characterized by prolonged flapping flight) and landing (>300 beats-per-minute, (bpm)) compared to baseline levels (80-100 bpm). However, within 10 minutes after the initial flapping phase, HR in soaring/gliding flight dropped to values similar to baseline levels, i.e. slightly lower than theoretically expected. However, the extremely rapid decrease in HR was unexpected, when compared with other marine gliders, such as albatrosses. Weather conditions influenced flight performance and HR was noticeably higher during cloudy compared to sunny conditions when prolonged soaring flight is made easier by thermal ascending air currents. Soaring as a cheap locomotory mode is a crucial adaptation for vultures who spend so long on the wing for wide-ranging movements to find food. PMID:24454760

  16. Senescence rates and late adulthood reproductive success are strongly influenced by personality in a long-lived seabird

    PubMed Central

    Patrick, Samantha C.; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2015-01-01

    Studies are increasingly demonstrating that individuals differ in their rate of ageing, and this is postulated to emerge from a trade-off between current and future reproduction. Recent theory predicts a correlation between individual personality and life-history strategy, and from this comes the prediction that personality may predict the intensity of senescence. Here we show that boldness correlates with reproductive success and foraging behaviour in wandering albatrosses, with strong sex-specific differences. Shy males show a strong decline in reproductive performance with age, and bold females have lower reproductive success in later adulthood. In both sexes, bolder birds have longer foraging trips and gain more mass per trip as they get older. However, the benefit of this behaviour appears to differ between the sexes, such that it is only matched by high reproductive success in males. Together our results suggest that personality linked foraging adaptations with age are strongly sex-specific in their fitness benefits and that the impact of boldness on senescence is linked to ecological parameters. PMID:25473008

  17. Sharing Data: Building on the Traditions of Collaborative Ocean Expeditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leinen, M.

    2015-12-01

    Collaborative international marine research programs over the past 60 years have built on the historic tradition of extended national expeditions during the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries that explored new regions of the ocean and integrated knowledge: the Challenger, Albatross, and Meteor Expeditions. As oceanography matured after WWII, a new style of collaborative program emerged that focused on specific processes or problems rather than general exploration; the International Geophysical Year (IGY, 1957-58) was followed by the International Decade of Ocean Exploration (IDOE, 1970s). The latter set the stage for regular campaign-style oceanography focused on large-scale problems beyond the capability of individuals or small groups. These have become a staple of international oceanography and provide a framework around which oceanographers from around the world can contribute to global ocean discovery regardless of the capabilities of their individual nations. These collaborations have explored everything from processes controlling and associated with the formation of new ocean floor (RIDGE) to the Census of Marine Life. New collaborations have extended the concept of the international campaign to networks of autonomous vehicles (ARGO) in which all data are freely available. Regardless of the immediate discoveries associated with a campaign, much of its influence derives from the free availability of the data. Those research programs that have made digital data freely available have had an enormous follow-on impact as new models (digital and otherwise) are applied to the results. .

  18. Turbidity and salinity in a tropical northern Australian estuary and their influence on fish distribution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cyrus, D. P.; Blaber, S. J. M.

    1992-12-01

    Turbidity and salinity and their influences on fish distribution were studied for two and a half years in the Embley Estuary in tropical northern Australia. Both turbidity and salinity varied significantly during the year but three clearly distinguishable seasonal patterns existed. These are referred to as the Wet, Early Dry and Late Dry Seasons. During each of these seasons distinct gradients of turbidity and salinity were present. The turbidity and salinity gradients were continuous with those in the adjacent marine environment of Albatross Bay. The levels and ranges of both factors were largely determined by the seasonal rainfall patterns in the catchment of the Embley River. The distribution and abundance of the 45 most common species was analysed in relation to turbidity, salinity and temperature patterns in the estuary. These data showed that fish densities within the estuary were related to turbidity and salinity but not temperature. There was a strong inverse relationship between turbidity and salinity. The Catch per Unit Effort (CPUE) of each species was determined in each of three broad ranges of turbidity and salinity. From this, patterns related to these two factors were found for 30 of the 45 species of fish.

  19. Use of fibre-optic endoscopes in studies of gastric digestion in carnivorous vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Jackson, S; Cooper, J

    1988-01-01

    1. Two methods of assessing gastric digestion rates of three prey types fed to Sooty albatrosses Phoebetria fusca were compared: removal of stomach contents, using a water-flushing stomach pump (a technique used commonly in diet studies), and inspection using a fibre-optic gastroscope (a previously unused technique). 2. The stomach pump yielded quantitative information, but proved stressful and resulted in incomplete recovery of meals ingested 3-6 hr before pumping. Gastric morphology of the animals studied and digestion state of their stomach contents may influence the effectiveness of this technique. 3. Inspection using the gastroscope yielded qualitative information only but permitted serial inspection of the same animal, and was less stressful than the stomach pump. Times for total evacuation of the stomach were 6-12 hr less when estimated using the gastroscope than when using the stomach pump. 4. The specifications of endoscopes relevant to their use by biologists are given. 5. Previous non-medical biological uses of endoscopes are given. Potential uses include underwater observations, sampling of digestive juices and stomach linings for enzyme analyses, observations of ingested prey, and assessment of parasite infestation. PMID:2904343

  20. "May the force be with you": 14th Samuel Haughton lecture.

    PubMed

    Prendergast, P J

    2008-12-01

    This paper presents the 14th Samuel Haughton lecture delivered on the 26th of January 2008. The lecture began by describing Haughton's research on animal mechanics. Haughton opposed Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection using the argument that the skeleton obeys the 'principle of least action' and therefore must have been designed with that principle in mind. In the course of his research he dissected many animals, including albatrosses, cassowaries, llamas, tigers, jackals and jaguars. He took anatomical measurements and did calculations to prove that muscle attachment sites were optimally located. The relationship between optimality and evolution continues to be studied. Computer simulations show optimality is difficult to achieve. This is because, even if optimality could be defined, the gene recombinations required to evolve an optimal phenotype may not exist. The drive towards optimality occurs under gravitational forces. Simulations to predict mechano-regulation of tissue differentiation and remodelling have been developed and tested. They have been used to design biomechanically optimized scaffolds for regenerative medicine and to identify the mechanoregularory mechanisms in osteoporosis. It is proposed that an important development in bioengineering will be the discovery of algorithms that can be used for the prediction of mechano-responsiveness in biological tissues. PMID:18641919

  1. Fisheries bycatch as an inadvertent human-induced evolutionary mechanism.

    PubMed

    Barbraud, Christophe; Tuck, Geoffrey N; Thomson, Robin; Delord, Karine; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2013-01-01

    Selective harvesting of animals by humans can affect the sustainability and genetics of their wild populations. Bycatch - the accidental catch of non-target species - spans the spectrum of marine fauna and constitutes a harvesting pressure. Individual differences in attraction to fishing vessels and consequent susceptibility to bycatch exist, but few studies integrate this individual heterogeneity with demography. Here, we tested for the evidence and consequences of individual heterogeneity on the demography of the wandering albatross, a seabird heavily affected by fisheries bycatch. We found strong evidence for heterogeneity in survival with one group of individuals having a 5.2% lower annual survival probability than another group, and a decrease in the proportion of those individuals with the lowest survival in the population coinciding with a 7.5 fold increase in fishing effort in the foraging areas. Potential causes for the heterogeneity in survival are discussed and we suggest that bycatch removed a large proportion of individuals attracted by fishing vessels and had significant phenotypic and population consequences. PMID:23593199

  2. All at sea with animal tracks; methodological and analytical solutions for the resolution of movement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, Rory P.; Liebsch, Nikolai; Davies, Ian M.; Quintana, Flavio; Weimerskirch, Henri; Storch, Sandra; Lucke, Klaus; Siebert, Ursula; Zankl, Solvin; Müller, Gabriele; Zimmer, Ilka; Scolaro, Alejandro; Campagna, Claudio; Plötz, Jochen; Bornemann, Horst; Teilmann, Jonas; McMahon, Clive R.

    2007-02-01

    Determining the movement of marine animals is logistically difficult and is currently primarily based on VHF and satellite-tracking telemetry, GPS, acoustic telemetry, and geolocation, all of which have substantial limitations in accurately locating the fine-scale movements of these animals. A recent development—that of dead-reckoning—is being increasingly used to examine the fine-scale movement of animals underwater. The advantages and drawbacks of this approach are quite different to those incurred by the other methods. This paper considers the advances that dead-reckoning can bring to the study of the often cryptic movement and behaviour of marine animals at sea. Methods used in determining position via dead-reckoning are presented and consideration is given to results derived from the use of dead-reckoning on cetaceans, pinnipeds, penguins and sea turtles; these are complemented by data on cormorants and albatrosses acquired using GPS systems. Suggestions are made as to how movement data derived from these devices can be analysed using indices that allow interpretation over a large variety of temporal and spatial scales.

  3. Avian pox in Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus).

    PubMed

    Kane, Olivia J; Uhart, Marcela M; Rago, Virginia; Pereda, Ariel J; Smith, Jeffrey R; Van Buren, Amy; Clark, J Alan; Boersma, P Dee

    2012-07-01

    Avian pox is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus that is mechanically transmitted via arthropod vectors or mucosal membrane contact with infectious particles or birds. Magellanic Penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus) from two colonies (Punta Tombo and Cabo Dos Bahías) in Argentina showed sporadic, nonepidemic signs of avian pox during five and two of 29 breeding seasons (1982-2010), respectively. In Magellanic Penguins, avian pox expresses externally as wart-like lesions around the beak, flippers, cloaca, feet, and eyes. Fleas (Parapsyllus longicornis) are the most likely arthropod vectors at these colonies. Three chicks with cutaneous pox-like lesions were positive for Avipoxvirus and revealed phylogenetic proximity with an Avipoxvirus found in Black-browed Albatross (Thalassarche melanophrys) from the Falkland Islands in 1987. This proximity suggests a long-term circulation of seabird Avipoxviruses in the southwest Atlantic. Avian pox outbreaks in these colonies primarily affected chicks, often resulted in death, and were not associated with handling, rainfall, or temperature. PMID:22740548

  4. Further study of Contracaecum pelagicum (Nematoda: Anisakidae) in Spheniscus magellanicus (Aves: Spheniscidae) from Argentinean coasts.

    PubMed

    Garbin, Lucas E; Navone, Graciela T; Diaz, Julia I; Cremonte, Florencia

    2007-02-01

    The anisakid species Contracaecum pelagicum Johnston and Mawson, 1942, is reported for first time at 2 different sites on the Argentine coast (Peninsula Valdés, 42 degrees 04'S, 63 degrees 38'W and Mar del Plata, 38 degrees 05'S, 57 degrees 38'W), parasitizing the Magellanic penguin, Spheniscus magellanicus Foster. Morphometric analysis and further studies of adult specimens of C. pelagicum were done using light and scanning electron microscopy. The presence of bifurcated interlabia differentiates the present species from most others in the genus, except (1) from Contracaecum travassosi, which possesses higher interlabia and longer spicules, and a blunt, more constrained tail; (2) from Contracaecum rudolphii, which has longer spicules, blunter spicule tips, postparacloacal papillae with oblique disposition, and a blunter constrained tail; (3) from Contracaecum eudyptulae, which has a blunter tail and longer spicules; and (4) from Contracaecum variegatum, which possesses smaller-diameter, hooklike extensions on auricle lips, and a less robust interlabium with a more marked furrow. In this paper we present the first detailed description of C. pelagicum adults from S. magellanicus. Morphometric data between adult specimens of C. pelagicum from S. magellanicus and those from the black-browed albatross, Diomedea melanophris Temminck, from Argentinean coasts were compared. In addition, fourth-stage larvae that parasitized both hosts were assigned to a nondeterminated Contracaecum species. Ecological parameters for adults and larvae nematodes were calculated. PMID:17436954

  5. How Cheap Is Soaring Flight in Raptors? A Preliminary Investigation in Freely-Flying Vultures

    PubMed Central

    Duriez, Olivier; Kato, Akiko; Tromp, Clara; Dell'Omo, Giacomo; Vyssotski, Alexei L.; Sarrazin, François; Ropert-Coudert, Yan

    2014-01-01

    Measuring the costs of soaring, gliding and flapping flight in raptors is challenging, but essential for understanding their ecology. Among raptors, vultures are scavengers that have evolved highly efficient soaring-gliding flight techniques to minimize energy costs to find unpredictable food resources. Using electrocardiogram, GPS and accelerometer bio-loggers, we report the heart rate (HR) of captive griffon vultures (Gyps fulvus and G. himalayensis) trained for freely-flying. HR increased three-fold at take-off (characterized by prolonged flapping flight) and landing (>300 beats-per-minute, (bpm)) compared to baseline levels (80–100 bpm). However, within 10 minutes after the initial flapping phase, HR in soaring/gliding flight dropped to values similar to baseline levels, i.e. slightly lower than theoretically expected. However, the extremely rapid decrease in HR was unexpected, when compared with other marine gliders, such as albatrosses. Weather conditions influenced flight performance and HR was noticeably higher during cloudy compared to sunny conditions when prolonged soaring flight is made easier by thermal ascending air currents. Soaring as a cheap locomotory mode is a crucial adaptation for vultures who spend so long on the wing for wide-ranging movements to find food. PMID:24454760

  6. Characterization of avian poxvirus in Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna) in California, USA.

    PubMed

    Godoy, Loreto A; Dalbeck, Lisa S; Tell, Lisa A; Woods, Leslie W; Colwell, Rita R; Robinson, Barbara; Wethington, Susan M; Moresco, Anneke; Woolcock, Peter R; Ernest, Holly B

    2013-10-01

    Avian poxvirus (genus Avipoxvirus, family Poxviridae) is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus that may be transmitted to birds by arthropod vectors or mucosal membrane contact with infectious particles. We characterized the infection in Anna's Hummingbird (Calypte anna; n = 5 birds, n = 9 lesions) by conducting diagnostic tests on skin lesions that were visually similar to avian poxvirus lesions in other bird species. Skin lesions were single or multiple, dry and firm, pink to yellow, with scabs on the surface, and located at the base of the bill, wings, or legs. Microscopically, the lesions were characterized by epidermal hyperplasia and necrosis with ballooning degeneration, and intracytoplasmic inclusions (Bollinger bodies) in keratinocytes. The 4b core gene sequence of avian poxvirus was detected by PCR in samples prepared from lesions. Nucleotide sequences were 75-94% similar to the sequences of other published avian poxvirus sequences. Phylogenetic analyses showed that the Anna's Hummingbird poxvirus sequence was distinguished as a unique subclade showing similarities with sequences isolated from Ostrich (Struthio camelus), Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), falcons (Falco spp.), Black-browed Albatross (Diomedea melanophris), Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) and White-tailed Eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). To our knowledge this is the first published report of definitive laboratory diagnosis of avian poxvirus in a hummingbird. Our results advance the science of disease ecology in hummingbirds, providing management information for banders, wildlife rehabilitators, and avian biologists. PMID:24502725

  7. Extending Lévy search theory from one to higher dimensions: Lévy walking favours the blind

    PubMed Central

    Reynolds, A. M.

    2015-01-01

    A diverse range of organisms, including T cells, E. coli, honeybees, sharks, turtles, bony fish, jellyfish, wandering albatrosses and even human hunter–gatherers have movement patterns that can be approximated by Lévy walks (LW; sometimes called Lévy flights in the biological and ecological literature). These observations lend support to the ‘Lévy flight foraging hypothesis’ which asserts that natural selection should have led to adaptations for Lévy flight foraging, because Lévy flights can optimize search efficiencies. The hypothesis stems from a rigorous theory of one-dimensional searching and from simulation data for two-dimensional searching. The potential effectiveness of three-dimensional Lévy searches has not been examined but is central to a proper understanding of marine predators and T cells which have provided the most compelling empirical evidence for LW. Here I extend Lévy search theory from one to three dimensions. The new theory predicts that three-dimensional Lévy searching can be advantageous but only when targets are large compared with the perceptual range of the searchers, i.e. only when foragers are effectively blind and need to come into contact with a target to establish its presence. This may explain why effective blindness is a common factor among three-dimensional Lévy walkers. PMID:26346221

  8. Personality, Foraging and Fitness Consequences in a Long Lived Seabird

    PubMed Central

    Patrick, Samantha C.; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-01-01

    While personality differences in animals are defined as consistent behavioural variation between individuals, the widely studied field of foraging specialisation in marine vertebrates has rarely been addressed within this framework. However there is much overlap between the two fields, both aiming to measure the causes and consequences of consistent individual behaviour. Here for the first time we use both a classic measure of personality, the response to a novel object, and an estimate of foraging strategy, derived from GPS data, to examine individual personality differences in black browed albatross and their consequences for fitness. First, we examine the repeatability of personality scores and link these to variation in foraging habitat. Bolder individuals forage nearer the colony, in shallower regions, whereas shyer birds travel further from the colony, and fed in deeper oceanic waters. Interestingly, neither personality score predicted a bird’s overlap with fisheries. Second, we show that both personality scores are correlated with fitness consequences, dependent on sex and year quality. Our data suggest that shyer males and bolder females have higher fitness, but the strength of this relationship depends on year quality. Females who forage further from the colony have higher breeding success in poor quality years, whereas males foraging close to the colony always have higher fitness. Together these results highlight the potential importance of personality variation in seabirds and that the fitness consequences of boldness and foraging strategy may be highly sex dependent. PMID:24504180

  9. Scale-dependent hierarchical adjustments of movement patterns in a long-range foraging seabird.

    PubMed Central

    Fritz, Hervé; Said, Sonia; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2003-01-01

    Foraging animals are expected to adjust their path according to the hierarchical spatial distribution of food resources and environmental factors. Studying such behaviour requires methods that allow for the detection of changes in pathways' characteristics across scales, i.e. a definition of scale boundaries and techniques to continuously monitor the precise movement of the animal over a sufficiently long period. We used a recently developed application of fractals, the changes in fractal dimension within a path and applied it to foraging trips over scales ranging across five orders of magnitude (10 m to 1000 km), using locations of wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) recorded at 1 s intervals with a miniaturized global positioning system. Remarkably, all animals consistently showed the same pattern: the use of three scale-dependent nested domains where they adjust tortuosity to different environmental and behavioural constraints. At a small scale (ca. 100 m) they use a zigzag movement as they continuously adjust for optimal use of wind; at a medium scale (1-10 km), the movement shows changes in tortuosity consistent with food-searching behaviour; and at a large scale (greater than 10 km) the movement corresponds to commuting between patches and is probably influenced by large-scale weather systems. Our results demonstrate the possibility of identifying the hierarchical spatial scales at which long-ranging animals adjust their foraging behaviour, even in featureless environments such as oceans, and hence how to relate their movement patterns to environmental factors using an objective mathematical approach. PMID:12816652

  10. Consistency pays: sex differences and fitness consequences of behavioural specialization in a wide-ranging seabird.

    PubMed

    Patrick, Samantha C; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-10-01

    Specialists and generalists often coexist within a single population, but the biological drivers of individual strategies are not fully resolved. When sexes differ in their foraging strategy, this can lead them to different environmental conditions and stability across their habitat range. As such, sexual segregation, combined with dominance, may lead to varying levels of specialization between the sexes. Here, we examine spatial and temporal niche width (intraindividual variability in aspects of foraging behaviour) of male and female black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys), and its consequences for fitness. We show that females, where maximum foraging range is under fluctuating selection, exhibit more variable behaviours and appear more generalist than males, who are under directional selection to forage close to the colony. However within each sex, successful birds had a much narrower niche width across most behaviours, suggesting some specialization is adaptive in both sexes. These results demonstrate that while there are sex differences in niche width, the fitness benefit of specialization in spatial distribution is strong in this wide-ranging seabird. PMID:25354918

  11. Consistency pays: sex differences and fitness consequences of behavioural specialization in a wide-ranging seabird

    PubMed Central

    Patrick, Samantha C.; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2014-01-01

    Specialists and generalists often coexist within a single population, but the biological drivers of individual strategies are not fully resolved. When sexes differ in their foraging strategy, this can lead them to different environmental conditions and stability across their habitat range. As such, sexual segregation, combined with dominance, may lead to varying levels of specialization between the sexes. Here, we examine spatial and temporal niche width (intraindividual variability in aspects of foraging behaviour) of male and female black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophrys), and its consequences for fitness. We show that females, where maximum foraging range is under fluctuating selection, exhibit more variable behaviours and appear more generalist than males, who are under directional selection to forage close to the colony. However within each sex, successful birds had a much narrower niche width across most behaviours, suggesting some specialization is adaptive in both sexes. These results demonstrate that while there are sex differences in niche width, the fitness benefit of specialization in spatial distribution is strong in this wide-ranging seabird. PMID:25354918

  12. The importance of oceanographic fronts to marine birds and mammals of the southern oceans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bost, C. A.; Cotté, C.; Bailleul, F.; Cherel, Y.; Charrassin, J. B.; Guinet, C.; Ainley, D. G.; Weimerskirch, H.

    2009-10-01

    During the last 30 years, at-sea studies of seabirds and marine mammals in the oceans south of the Subtropical Front have described an association with major frontal areas. More recently, the advancement in microtechnology has allowed the tracking of individuals and investigations into how these marine predators actually use the frontal zones. In this review, we examine 1) the relative importance to apex predators of the different frontal zones in terms of spatial distribution and carbon flux; 2) the processes that determine their preferential use; and 3) how the mesoscale dynamics of frontal structures drive at-sea foraging strategies of these predators. We review published results from southern waters and place them in a broader context with respect to what has been learned about the importance of fronts in oceans farther north. Some fronts constitute important boundaries for seabird communities in southern waters. At a mesoscale the maximum values of seabird diversity and abundance correspond to the location of the main fronts. At-sea surveys show a strong curvilinear correlation between seabird abundance and sea surface temperatures. High mean species richness and diversity for whales and seabirds are consistently associated with the southern water mass boundary of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, the Subtropical Front and the Subantarctic Front; in the case of the Polar Front mean seabird densities are more variable. At small-scales, variation in seabird occurrence has been directly related to the processes at fronts in a limited number of cases. A significant positive relation was found between some plankton feeding species and frontal temperature gradient-phytoplankton variables. Telemetric studies have revealed that several apex predators (penguins, albatrosses, seals) perform long, directed foraging trips either to the Subtropical front or Polar Front, depending on locality. Seabirds with low flight costs, such as albatrosses, are able to reach fronts at

  13. Environmental contamination in Antarctic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bargagli, R

    2008-08-01

    Although the remote continent of Antarctica is perceived as the symbol of the last great wilderness, the human presence in the Southern Ocean and the continent began in the early 1900s for hunting, fishing and exploration, and many invasive plant and animal species have been deliberately introduced in several sub-Antarctic islands. Over the last 50 years, the development of research and tourism have locally affected terrestrial and marine coastal ecosystems through fuel combustion (for transportation and energy production), accidental oil spills, waste incineration and sewage. Although natural "barriers" such as oceanic and atmospheric circulation protect Antarctica from lower latitude water and air masses, available data on concentrations of metals, pesticides and other persistent pollutants in air, snow, mosses, lichens and marine organisms show that most persistent contaminants in the Antarctic environment are transported from other continents in the Southern Hemisphere. At present, levels of most contaminants in Antarctic organisms are lower than those in related species from other remote regions, except for the natural accumulation of Cd and Hg in several marine organisms and especially in albatrosses and petrels. The concentrations of organic pollutants in the eggs of an opportunistic top predator such as the south polar skua are close to those that may cause adverse health effects. Population growth and industrial development in several countries of the Southern Hemisphere are changing the global pattern of persistent anthropogenic contaminants and new classes of chemicals have already been detected in the Antarctic environment. Although the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty provides strict guidelines for the protection of the Antarctic environment and establishes obligations for all human activity in the continent and the Southern Ocean, global warming, population growth and industrial development in countries of the Southern

  14. Fisheries in the Southern Ocean: an ecosystem approach.

    PubMed

    Kock, Karl-Hermann; Reid, Keith; Croxall, John; Nicol, Stephen

    2007-12-29

    The Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR) is bound by its Article II, 3 to follow an ecosystem approach to management. This approach has been extended to the application of a precautionary approach in the late 1980s. In our review, we deal primarily with the science-related aspects of CCAMLR and its development towards an ecosystem approach to the management of the living resources of the Southern Ocean. To assist the Commission in meeting its objectives, as set out in Article II, 3, the Scientific Committee established the CCAMLR Ecosystem Monitoring Programme to detect possible effects of krill fishing on the performance of top-level predators, such as albatrosses, penguins, petrels and fur seals. Fisheries in the Southern Ocean followed the fate of other fisheries worldwide in which target species were depleted to low level one after the other. Currently, two types of fisheries are open: the longline fisheries on Patagonian toothfish (Dissostichus eleginoides) and Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni) and the trawl fisheries on mackerel icefish (Champsocephalus gunnari). Both fisheries are managed in a single-species context, however, with conservation measures in place to protect by-catch species, such as rattails (Macrouridae) and skates and rays (Rajidae). Two major problems still exist in fisheries in the Southern Ocean: the by-catch of birds in longline fisheries primarily in the Indian Ocean and the high level of IUU fishing again in the Indian Ocean. Both, the by-catch of birds and high IUU catches undermine the credibility of CCAMLR to safeguard the marine living resources in the Southern Ocean. PMID:17553767

  15. The use of body mass loss to estimate metabolic rate in birds.

    PubMed

    Portugal, Steven J; Guillemette, Magella

    2011-03-01

    During starvation, energy production occurs at the expense of body reserve utilisation which results in body mass loss. Knowing the role of the fuels involved in this body mass loss, along with their energy density, can allow an energy equivalent of mass loss to be calculated. Therefore, it is possible to determine daily energy expenditure (DEE) if two body mass loss measurements at an interval of a few days are obtained. The technique can be cheap, minimally stressful for the animals involved, and the data relatively simple to gather. Here we review the use of body mass loss to estimate DEE in birds through critiquing the strengths and weaknesses of the technique, and detail the methodology and considerations that must be adhered to for accurate measures of DEE to be obtained. Owing to the biology of the species, the use of the technique has been used predominantly in Antarctic seabirds, particularly penguins and albatrosses. We demonstrate how reliable the technique can be in predicting DEE in a non-Antarctic species, common eiders (Somateria mollissima), the female of which undergoes a fasting period during incubation. We conclude that using daily body mass loss to estimate DEE can be a useful and effective approach provided that (1) the substrate being consumed during mass loss is known, (2) the kinetics of body mass loss are understood for the species in question and (3) only species that enter a full phase II of a fast (where substrate catabolism reaches a steady state) and are not feeding for a period of time are appropriate for this method. PMID:21144908

  16. Accounting for female reproductive cycles in a superpopulation capture-recapture framework.

    PubMed

    Carroll, E L; Childerhouse, S J; Fewster, R M; Patenaude, N J; Steel, D; Dunshea, G; Boren, L; Baker, C S

    2013-10-01

    Superpopulation capture-recapture models are useful for estimating the abundance of long-lived, migratory species because they are able to account for the fluid nature of annual residency at migratory destinations. Here we extend the superpopulation POPAN model to explicitly account for heterogeneity in capture probability linked to reproductive cycles (POPAN-tau). This extension has potential application to a range of species that have temporally variable life stages (e.g., non-annual breeders such as albatrosses and baleen whales) and results in a significant reduction in bias over the standard POPAN model. We demonstrate the utility of this model in simultaneously estimating abundance and annual population growth rate (lamda) in the New Zealand (NZ) southern right whale (Eubalaena australis) from 1995 to 2009. DNA profiles were constructed for the individual identification of more than 700 whales, sampled during two sets of winter expeditions in 1995-1998 and 2006-2009. Due to differences in recapture rates between sexes, only sex-specific models were considered. The POPAN-tau models, which explicitly account for a decrease in capture probability in non-calving years, fit the female data set significantly better than do standard superpopulation models (deltaAIC > 25). The best POPAN-tau model (AIC) gave a super-population estimate of 1162 females for 1995-2009 (95% CL 921, 1467) and an estimated annual increase of 5% (95% CL--2%, 13%). The best model (AIC) gave a superpopulation estimate of 1007 males (95% CL 794, 1276) and an estimated annual increase of 7% (95% CL 5%, 9%) for 1995-2009. Combined, the total superpopulation estimate for 1995-2009 was 2169 whales (95% CL 1836, 2563). Simulations suggest that failure to account for the effect of reproductive status on the capture probability would result in a substantial positive bias (+19%) in female abundance estimates. PMID:24261048

  17. Interpolation of animal tracking data in a fluid environment.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Yann; Shaffer, Scott A; Fowler, Shannon L; Kuhn, Carey E; McDonald, Birgitte I; Weise, Michael J; Bost, Charle-André; Weimerskirch, Henri; Crocker, Daniel E; Goebel, Michael E; Costa, Daniel P

    2006-01-01

    Interpolation of geolocation or Argos tracking data is a necessity for habitat use analyses of marine vertebrates. In a fluid marine environment, characterized by curvilinear structures, linearly interpolated track data are not realistic. Based on these two facts, we interpolated tracking data from albatrosses, penguins, boobies, sea lions, fur seals and elephant seals using six mathematical algorithms. Given their popularity in mathematical computing, we chose Bézier, hermite and cubic splines, in addition to a commonly used linear algorithm to interpolate data. Performance of interpolation methods was compared with different temporal resolutions representative of the less-precise geolocation and the more-precise Argos tracking techniques. Parameters from interpolated sub-sampled tracks were compared with those obtained from intact tracks. Average accuracy of the interpolated location was not affected by the interpolation method and was always within the precision of the tracking technique used. However, depending on the species tested, some curvilinear interpolation algorithms produced greater occurrences of more accurate locations, compared with the linear interpolation method. Total track lengths were consistently underestimated but were always more accurate using curvilinear interpolation than linear interpolation. Curvilinear algorithms are safe to use because accuracy, shape and length of the tracks are either not different or are slightly enhanced and because analyses always remain conservative. The choice of the curvilinear algorithm does not affect the resulting track dramatically so it should not preclude their use. We thus recommend using curvilinear interpolation techniques because of the more realistic fluid movements of animals. We also provide some guidelines for choosing an algorithm that is most likely to maximize track quality for different types of marine vertebrates. PMID:16354784

  18. Osteology of Icadyptes salasi, a giant penguin from the Eocene of Peru

    PubMed Central

    Ksepka, Daniel T; Clarke, Julia A; DeVries, Thomas J; Urbina, Mario

    2008-01-01

    We present the first detailed description of the giant Eocene penguin Icadyptes salasi. The species is characterized by a narrow skull with a hyper-elongate spear-like beak, a robust cervical column and a powerful flipper. The bony beak tip of Icadyptes is formed by fusion of several elements and is unique among penguins, differing markedly from previously described giant penguin beaks. Vascular canal patterning similar to that of boobies, frigatebirds and albatrosses suggests I. salasi may have had a thin, sheet-like rhamphotheca unlike the thick rugose rhamphotheca of modern penguins. Together, these features suggest a novel ecology for I. salasi, most likely involving the capture of larger prey items via spearing. As the first described giant penguin specimen to preserve a complete wing skeleton, the I. salasi holotype yields significant insight into the shape, proportions and orientation of the wing in giant penguins. In articulation, the forelimb of I. salasi is straighter, permitting less manus and antibrachium flexion, than previous depictions of giant penguin wings. Cross-sections of the humerus and ulna reveal a level of osteosclerosis equalling or surpassing that of extant penguins. Based on ontogenetic data from extant penguins and the morphology of the carpometacarpus of I. salasi, we infer the retention of a free alular phalanx in basal penguins. Previously, the status of this element in penguins was disputed. Differences in the proportions of the manual phalanges contribute to a more abruptly tapering wingtip in I. salasi compared with crown penguins. Fossils from Peru, including the I. salasi holotype specimen, document that penguins expanded to nearly the whole of their extant latitudinal range early in their evolutionary history and during one of the warmest intervals in the Cenozoic. PMID:18564073

  19. Community structure across a large-scale ocean productivity gradient: Marine bird assemblages of the Southern Indian Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hyrenbach, K. David; Veit, Richard R.; Weimerskirch, Henri; Metzl, Nicolas; Hunt, George L., Jr.

    2007-07-01

    Our objective was to understand how marine birds respond to oceanographic variability across the Southern Indian Ocean using data collected during an 16-day cruise (4-21 January 2003). We quantified concurrent water mass distributions, ocean productivity patterns, and seabird distributions across a heterogeneous pelagic ecosystem from subtropical to sub-Antarctic waters. We surveyed 5155 km and sighted 15,606 birds from 51 species, and used these data to investigate how seabirds respond to spatial variability in the structure and productivity of the ocean. We addressed two spatial scales: the structure of seabird communities across macro-mega scale (1000 s km) biogeographic domains, and their coarse-scale (10 s km) aggregation at hydrographic and bathymetric gradients. Both seabird density and species composition changed with latitudinal and onshore-offshore gradients in depth, water temperature, and chlorophyll-a concentration. The average seabird density increased across the subtropical convergence (STC) from 2.4 birds km -2 in subtropical waters to 23.8 birds km -2 in sub-Antarctic waters. The composition of the avifauna also differed across biogeographic domains. Prions ( Pachyptila spp.) accounted for 57% of all sub-Antarctic birds, wedge-tailed shearwaters ( Puffinus pacificus) accounted for 46% of all subtropical birds, and Indian Ocean yellow-nosed albatross ( Thallasarche carteri) accounted for 32% of all birds in the STC. While surface feeders were the most abundant foraging guild across the study area, divers were disproportionately more numerous in the sub-Antarctic domain, and plungers were disproportionately more abundant in subtropical waters. Seabird densities were also higher within shallow shelf-slope regions, especially in sub-Antarctic waters, where large numbers of breeding seabirds concentrated. However, we did not find elevated seabird densities along the STC, suggesting that this broad frontal region is not a site of enhanced aggregation.

  20. Measuring Global Trends in the Status of Biodiversity: Red List Indices for Birds

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    The rapid destruction of the planet's biodiversity has prompted the nations of the world to set a target of achieving a significant reduction in the rate of loss of biodiversity by 2010. However, we do not yet have an adequate way of monitoring progress towards achieving this target. Here we present a method for producing indices based on the IUCN Red List to chart the overall threat status (projected relative extinction risk) of all the world's bird species from 1988 to 2004. Red List Indices (RLIs) are based on the number of species in each Red List category, and on the number changing categories between assessments as a result of genuine improvement or deterioration in status. The RLI for all bird species shows that their overall threat status has continued to deteriorate since 1988. Disaggregated indices show that deteriorations have occurred worldwide and in all major ecosystems, but with particularly steep declines in the indices for Indo-Malayan birds (driven by intensifying deforestation of the Sundaic lowlands) and for albatrosses and petrels (driven by incidental mortality in commercial longline fisheries). RLIs complement indicators based on species population trends and habitat extent for quantifying global trends in the status of biodiversity. Their main weaknesses are that the resolution of status changes is fairly coarse and that delays may occur before some status changes are detected. Their greatest strength is that they are based on information from nearly all species in a taxonomic group worldwide, rather than a potentially biased subset. At present, suitable data are only available for birds, but indices for other taxonomic groups are in development, as is a sampled index based on a stratified sample from all major taxonomic groups. PMID:15510230

  1. Free-flight odor tracking in Drosophila is consistent with an optimal intermittent scale-free search.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Andy M; Frye, Mark A

    2007-01-01

    During their trajectories in still air, fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) explore their landscape using a series of straight flight paths punctuated by rapid 90 degrees body-saccades [1]. Some saccades are triggered by visual expansion associated with collision avoidance. Yet many saccades are not triggered by visual cues, but rather appear spontaneously. Our analysis reveals that the control of these visually independent saccades and the flight intervals between them constitute an optimal scale-free active searching strategy. Two characteristics of mathematical optimality that are apparent during free-flight in Drosophila are inter-saccade interval lengths distributed according to an inverse square law, which does not vary across landscape scale, and 90 degrees saccade angles, which increase the likelihood that territory will be revisited and thereby reduce the likelihood that near-by targets will be missed. We also show that searching is intermittent, such that active searching phases randomly alternate with relocation phases. Behaviorally, this intermittency is reflected in frequently occurring short, slow speed inter-saccade intervals randomly alternating with rarer, longer, faster inter-saccade intervals. Searching patterns that scale similarly across orders of magnitude of length (i.e., scale-free) have been revealed in animals as diverse as microzooplankton, bumblebees, albatrosses, and spider monkeys, but these do not appear to be optimised with respect to turning angle, whereas Drosophila free-flight search does. Also, intermittent searching patterns, such as those reported here for Drosophila, have been observed in foragers such as planktivorous fish and ground foraging birds. Our results with freely flying Drosophila may constitute the first reported example of searching behaviour that is both scale-free and intermittent. PMID:17406678

  2. Phylogeny and forelimb disparity in waterbirds.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xia; Clarke, Julia A

    2014-10-01

    Previous work has shown that the relative proportions of wing components (i.e., humerus, ulna, carpometacarpus) in birds are related to function and ecology, but these have rarely been investigated in a phylogenetic context. Waterbirds including "Pelecaniformes," Ciconiiformes, Procellariiformes, Sphenisciformes, and Gaviiformes form a highly supported clade and developed a great diversity of wing forms and foraging ecologies. In this study, forelimb disparity in the waterbird clade was assessed in a phylogenetic context. Phylogenetic signal was assessed via Pagel's lambda, Blomberg's K, and permutation tests. We find that different waterbird clades are clearly separated based on forelimb component proportions, which are significantly correlated with phylogeny but not with flight style. Most of the traditional contents of "Pelecaniformes" (e.g., pelicans, cormorants, and boobies) cluster with Ciconiiformes (herons and storks) and occupy a reduced morphospace. These taxa are closely related phylogenetically but exhibit a wide range of ecologies and flight styles. Procellariiformes (e.g., petrels, albatross, and shearwaters) occupy a wide range of morphospace, characterized primarily by variation in the relative length of carpometacarpus and ulna. Gaviiformes (loons) surprisingly occupy a wing morphospace closest to diving petrels and penguins. Whether this result may reflect wing proportions plesiomorphic for the waterbird clade or a functional signal is unclear. A Bayesian approach detecting significant rate shifts across phylogeny recovered two such shifts. At the base of the two sister clades Sphenisciformes + Procellariiformes, a shift to an increase evolutionary rate of change is inferred for the ulna and carpometacarpus. Thus, changes in wing shape begin prior to the loss of flight in the wing-propelled diving clade. Several shifts to slower rate of change are recovered within stem penguins. PMID:24989899

  3. Flight Modes in Migrating European Bee-Eaters: Heart Rate May Indicate Low Metabolic Rate during Soaring and Gliding

    PubMed Central

    Sapir, Nir; Wikelski, Martin; McCue, Marshall D.; Pinshow, Berry; Nathan, Ran

    2010-01-01

    Background Many avian species soar and glide over land. Evidence from large birds (mb>0.9 kg) suggests that soaring-gliding is considerably cheaper in terms of energy than flapping flight, and costs about two to three times the basal metabolic rate (BMR). Yet, soaring-gliding is considered unfavorable for small birds because migration speed in small birds during soaring-gliding is believed to be lower than that of flapping flight. Nevertheless, several small bird species routinely soar and glide. Methodology/Principal Findings To estimate the energetic cost of soaring-gliding flight in small birds, we measured heart beat frequencies of free-ranging migrating European bee-eaters (Merops apiaster, mb∼55 g) using radio telemetry, and established the relationship between heart beat frequency and metabolic rate (by indirect calorimetry) in the laboratory. Heart beat frequency during sustained soaring-gliding was 2.2 to 2.5 times lower than during flapping flight, but similar to, and not significantly different from, that measured in resting birds. We estimated that soaring-gliding metabolic rate of European bee-eaters is about twice their basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is similar to the value estimated in the black-browed albatross Thalassarche (previously Diomedea) melanophrys, mb∼4 kg). We found that soaring-gliding migration speed is not significantly different from flapping migration speed. Conclusions/Significance We found no evidence that soaring-gliding speed is slower than flapping flight in bee-eaters, contradicting earlier estimates that implied a migration speed penalty for using soaring-gliding rather than flapping flight. Moreover, we suggest that small birds soar and glide during migration, breeding, dispersal, and other stages in their annual cycle because it may entail a low energy cost of transport. We propose that the energy cost of soaring-gliding may be proportional to BMR regardless of bird size, as theoretically deduced by earlier studies

  4. Stable isotopes reveal individual variation in migration strategies and habitat preferences in a suite of seabirds during the nonbreeding period.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Richard A; Bearhop, Stuart; McGill, Rona A R; Dawson, Deborah A

    2009-07-01

    Information on predator and prey distributions is integral to our understanding of migratory connectivity, food web dynamics and ecosystem structure. In marine systems, although large animals that return to land can be fitted with tracking devices, minimum instrument sizes preclude deployments on small seabirds that may nevertheless be highly abundant and hence major consumers. An increasingly popular approach is to use N and C stable isotope analysis of feathers sampled at colonies to provide information on distribution and trophic level for the preceding, and generally little-known, nonbreeding period. Despite the burgeoning of this research, there have been few attempts to verify such relationships. In this study, we demonstrate a clear correspondence between isotope ratios of feathers and nonbreeding distributions of seven species from South Georgia tracked using loggers. This generated a rudimentary isoscape that was used to infer the habitat preferences of eight other species ranging in size from storm petrels to albatrosses, and which could be applied, with caveats, in other studies. Differences in inferred distribution within and between species had major implications for relative exposure to anthropogenic threats, including climate change and fisheries. Although there were no differences in isotope values between sexes in any of the smaller petrels, mean stable C (delta(13)C), but not stable N isotope ratios (delta(15)N), tended to be greater in females than males of the larger, and more sexually size-dimorphic species. This indicates a difference in C source (distribution), rather than trophic level, and a correspondence between the degree of sexual size dimorphism in Procellariiformes and the level of between-sex niche segregation. PMID:19377898

  5. Seabird satellite tracking validates the use of latitudinal isoscapes to depict predators' foraging areas in the Southern Ocean.

    PubMed

    Jaeger, Audrey; Lecomte, Vincent J; Weimerskirch, Henri; Richard, Pierre; Cherel, Yves

    2010-12-15

    Stable isotopes are increasingly being used to trace wildlife movements. A fundamental prerequisite of animal isotopic tracking is a good knowledge of spatial isotopic variations in the environment. Few accessible reference maps of the isotopic landscape ("isoscapes") are available for marine predators. Here, we validate for the first time an isotopic gradient for higher trophic levels by using a unique combination of a large number of satellite-tracks and subsequent blood plasma isotopic signatures from a wide-ranging oceanic predator. The plasma δ(13)C and δ(15)N values of wandering albatrosses (n = 45) were highly and positively correlated to the Southern Ocean latitudes at which the satellite-tracked individuals foraged. The well-defined latitudinal baseline carbon isoscapes in the Southern Ocean is thus reflected in the tissue of consumers, but with a positive shift due to the cumulative effect of a slight (13)C-enrichment at each trophic level. The data allowed us to estimate the carbon isotopic position of the main oceanic fronts in the area, and thus to delineate robust isoscapes of the main foraging zones for top predators. The plasma δ(13)C and δ(15)N values were positively and linearly correlated, thus suggesting that latitudinal isoscapes also occur for δ(15)N at the base of the food web in oceanic waters of the Southern Ocean. The combination of device deployments with sampling of relevant tissues for isotopic analysis appears to be a powerful tool for investigating consumers' isoscapes at various spatio-temporal scales. PMID:21072802

  6. Osteology of Icadyptes salasi, a giant penguin from the Eocene of Peru.

    PubMed

    Ksepka, Daniel T; Clarke, Julia A; DeVries, Thomas J; Urbina, Mario

    2008-08-01

    We present the first detailed description of the giant Eocene penguin Icadyptes salasi. The species is characterized by a narrow skull with a hyper-elongate spear-like beak, a robust cervical column and a powerful flipper. The bony beak tip of Icadyptes is formed by fusion of several elements and is unique among penguins, differing markedly from previously described giant penguin beaks. Vascular canal patterning similar to that of boobies, frigatebirds and albatrosses suggests I. salasi may have had a thin, sheet-like rhamphotheca unlike the thick rugose rhamphotheca of modern penguins. Together, these features suggest a novel ecology for I. salasi, most likely involving the capture of larger prey items via spearing. As the first described giant penguin specimen to preserve a complete wing skeleton, the I. salasi holotype yields significant insight into the shape, proportions and orientation of the wing in giant penguins. In articulation, the forelimb of I. salasi is straighter, permitting less manus and antibrachium flexion, than previous depictions of giant penguin wings. Cross-sections of the humerus and ulna reveal a level of osteosclerosis equalling or surpassing that of extant penguins. Based on ontogenetic data from extant penguins and the morphology of the carpometacarpus of I. salasi, we infer the retention of a free alular phalanx in basal penguins. Previously, the status of this element in penguins was disputed. Differences in the proportions of the manual phalanges contribute to a more abruptly tapering wingtip in I. salasi compared with crown penguins. Fossils from Peru, including the I. salasi holotype specimen, document that penguins expanded to nearly the whole of their extant latitudinal range early in their evolutionary history and during one of the warmest intervals in the Cenozoic. PMID:18564073

  7. Influence of the simulated microgravity on biomass and contents of carbohydrates at virus-infected wheat plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mishchenko, L.; Silayeva, A.; Mishchenko, I.; Boyko, A.

    The effects of clinostating has been studied on the contents of biomass, soluble carbohydrates and starches in Wheat streak mosaic virus (WSMV) infected plants of wheat Donska semidwarf, Albatross Odessky, Kollectivna-3 (summer), and Apogee (early-ripe, superdwarf). Plants in conditions of horizontal and vertical rotation with a frequency 2 min-1 were grown in containers during 35 days. WSMV was accumulated on barley i dicator plants of Ros' variety for then subsequent infestation by this virus of a part of clinostating and motionless wheat plants in a stage of 3 leaves. Researches have shown, that the most suitable for ground experiments with clinostating were Kollectivna-3 and Apogee varieties. At vertical and horizontal rotation of wheat plants of Kollectivna - 3 variety the weight of roots increased and that of above-ground part (leaves and stalks) decreased in comparison with motionless control plants, that resulted in decrease of the ratio of a biomass of an above-ground part to a root system. In Apogee variety the weight of the above-ground part of healthy plants at vertical clinostating decreased by 23 % in comparison with motionless variant, and the biomass of virus-infected plants was reduced on the average by 14 % in comparison with infected motionless control. The weight of above-ground part of infected and healthy motionless plants practically did not differ. Vertical clinorotation of plants caused the reduction of ear weight while in horizontally rotated plants and in the motionless control there were no difference. The number of ears in Apogee variety practically did not change in all variants of the experiment, and plant weight at clinostating decreased in both healthy, and virus infected plants. For the period of cultivation in Kollectivna-3 variety ears were not formed at all. The contents of soluble carbohydrates (reducing and saccharose) in leaves and stalks of healthy and virus infected at clinostating was increased in Apogee in 1,6-2,2 times

  8. Flight test results for the Daedalus and Light Eagle human powered aircraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sullivan, R. Bryan; Zerweckh, Siegfried H.

    1988-01-01

    The results of the flight test program of the Daedalus and Light Eagle human powered aircraft in the winter of 1987/88 are given. The results from experiments exploring the Light Eagle's rigid body and structural dynamics are presented. The interactions of these dynamics with the autopilot design are investigated. Estimates of the power required to fly the Daedalus aircraft are detailed. The system of sensors, signal conditioning boards, and data acquisition equipment used to record the flight data is also described. In order to investigate the dynamics of the aircraft, flight test maneuvers were developed to yield maximum data quality from the point of view of estimating lateral and longitudinal stability derivatives. From this data, structural flexibility and unsteady aerodynamics have been modeled in an ad hoc manner and are used to augment the equations of motion with flexibility effects. Results of maneuvers that were flown are compared with the predictions from the flexibility model. To extend the ad hoc flexibility model, a fully flexible aeroelastic model has been developed. The model is unusual in the approximate equality of many structural natural frequencies and the importance of unsteady aerodynamic effects. the Gossamer Albatross. It is hypothesized that this inverse ground effect is caused by turbulence in the Earth's boundary layer. The diameters of the largest boundary layer eddies (which represent most of the turbulent kinetic energy) are proportional to altitude; thus, closer to the ground, the energy in the boundary layer becomes concentrated in eddies of smaller and smaller diameter. Eventually the eddies become sufficiently small (approximately 0.5 cm) that they trip the laminar boundary layer on the wing. As a result, a greater percentage of the wing area is covered with turbulent flow. Consequently the aircraft's drag and the pow er required both increase as the aircraft flies closer to the ground. The results of the flight test program are

  9. Ocean Tracks: Investigating Marine Migrations in a Changing Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krumhansl, R.; Kochevar, R. E.; Aluwihare, L.; Bardar, E. W.; Hirsch, L.; Hoyle, C.; Krumhansl, K.; Louie, J.; Madura, J.; Mueller-Northcott, J.; Peach, C. L.; Trujillo, A.; Winney, B.; Zetterlind, V.; Busey, A.

    2015-12-01

    The availability of scientific data sets online opens up exciting new opportunities to raise students' understanding of the worlds' oceans and the potential impacts of climate change. The Oceans of Data Institute at EDC; Stanford University; and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography have been collaborating, with the support of three National Science Foundation grants over the past 5 years, to bring marine science data sets into high school and undergraduate classrooms. These efforts have culminated in the development of a web-based student interface to data from the Tagging of Pacific Predators (TOPP) program, NOAA's Global Drifter Program, and NASA Earth-orbiting satellites through a student-friendly Web interface, customized data analysis tools, multimedia supports, and course modules. Ocean Tracks (http://oceantracks.org), which incorporates design principles based on a broad range of research findings in fields such as cognitive science, visual design, mathematics education and learning science, focuses on optimizing students' opportunities to focus their cognitive resources on viewing and comparing data to test hypotheses, while minimizing the time spent on downloading, filtering and creating displays. Ocean Tracks allows students to display the tracks of elephant seals, white sharks, Bluefin tuna, albatross, and drifting buoys along with sea surface temperature, chlorophyll-A, bathymetry, ocean currents, and human impacts overlays. A graphing tool allows students to dynamically display parameters associated with the track such as speed, deepest daily dive and track tortuosity (curviness). These interface features allow students to engage in investigations that mirror those currently being conducted by scientists to understand the broad-scale effects of changes in climate and other human activities on ocean ecosystems. In addition to supporting the teaching of the Ocean and Climate Literacy principles, high school curriculum modules facilitate the teaching

  10. Modeling metapopulation dynamics for single species of seabirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buckley, P.A.; Downer, R.

    1992-01-01

    Seabirds share many characteristics setting them apart from other birds. Importantly, they breed more or less obligatorily in local clusters of colonies that can move regularly from site to site, and they routinely exchange breeders. The properties of such metapopulations have only recently begun to be examined, often with models that are occupancy-based (using only colony presence or absence data) and deterministic (using single, empirically determined values for each of several population biology parameters). Some recent models are now frequency-based (using actual population sizes at each site), as well as stochastic (randomly varying critical parameters between biologically realistic limits), yielding better estimates of the behavior of future populations. Using two such models designed to quantify relative risks of population changes under different future scenarios (RAMAS/stage and RAMAS/space), we have examined probable future populations dynamics for three hypothetical seabirds -- an albatross, a cormorant, and a tern. With real parameters and ranges of values we alternatively modelled each species with and without density dependence, as well as with their numbers in a single, large colony, or in many smaller ones, distributed evenly or lognormally. We produced a series of species-typical lines for different population risks over the 50 years we simulated. We call these curves Instantaneous Threat Assessments (ITAs), and their shapes mirror the varying life history characteristics of our three species. We also demonstrated (by a process known as sensitivity analysis) that the most important parameters determining future population fates of all three species were correlation of mean growth rate among colonies; dispersal rate of present and future breeders; subadult survivorship; and the number of subpopulations (=colonies) - in roughly that descending order of importance. In addition, density dependence was found to markedly alter ITA line shape and position

  11. Pathfinder-Plus on a flight in Hawaii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight in 1998 over Hawaiian waters. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least

  12. Pathfinder-Plus takes off on flight in Hawaii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over Hawaii in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4 days

  13. Pathfinder-Plus on flight in Hawaii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over Hawaii in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4 days

  14. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus flying over the Hawaiian Islands in 1998 with Ni'ihau Island in the background. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100

  15. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaii. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4 days above 50

  16. Levels and pattern of alkyl nitrates, multifunctional alkyl nitrates, and halocarbons in the air over the Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, Ralf G.; Kastler, Jürgen; Ballschmiter, Karlheinz

    2000-06-01

    The Albatross Campaign was a research cruise of the German research vessel RV Polarstern (cruise ANT XFV/1) in October and November 1996 across the Atlantic Ocean. The cruise started in Bremerhaven, Germany, reached the polar region at 67°N, followed the 30°W meridian longitude, crossed the equatorial region, and ended at 50°S at Punta Quilla, Argentina. A second cruise leg closer to the African continent started from Capetown, South Africa, passed the Canary Island, and ended through the English Channel at Bremerhaven, Germany, in May/June 1998. Measurements of atmospheric levels of C1-C13 alkyl mononitrates, 24 alkyl dinitrates (C3-C6), 19 hydroxy alkyl nitrates (C2-C6), and benzyl nitrate, as well as the halocarbons tetrachloroethene, hexachloroethane, and bromoform are presented in this work. The halocarbons are used to assess the origin of the air parcels analyzed. Levels and patterns of multifunctional alkyl nitrates in the marine air are described here for the first time. The air masses include polluted air from the northern Europe, as well as highly degraded air masses of the South Atlantic trade wind region that represent global baseline levels. Two independent analytical methods were used in combination to cover the whole range of organic nitrates. First, the low-volume adsorptive enrichment of organic traces on Tenax, followed by thermodesorption cold trap HRGC-ECD and thermodesorption cold trap HRGC-(EI)MSD was used. Second, high-volume adsorptive enrichment of organic traces on silica gel was applied followed by solvent desorption, NP-HPLC group separation, and HRGC-(EI)-MSD. Short-chain alkyl nitrates (C4-C6) showed mixing ratios in the range of 0.2-2.5 parts per trillion by volume (pptv), with a local minimum for the tropical regions and significantly lower ratios for the Southern Hemisphere. The mixing ratio of the sum of 36 long-chain alkyl mononitrates (C7-C13) ranged from 0.02-0.43 pptv, the mixing ratio of the sum of 23 alkyl dinitrates (C3-C

  17. Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over Hawaiian island N'ihau

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over the Hawaiian island of N'ihau in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non

  18. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non-stop for at least 4

  19. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian island N'ihau

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight over the Hawaiian island of N'ihau in 1998. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and flying non

  20. Pathfinder-Plus on flight near Hawaiian island N'ihau

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on a flight with the Hawaiian island of N'ihau in the background. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet and

  1. Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands, with N'ihau and Lehua in the background

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Pathfinder-Plus on flight over Hawaiian Islands, with N'ihau and Lehua in the background. Pathfinder was a remotely controlled, solar-powered flying wing, designed and built as a proof-of-concept vehicle for a much larger aircraft capable of flying at extremely high altitudes for weeks at a time. It was built by AeroVironment, Inc., a California company that developed the human-powered Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross lightweight aircraft during the 1970s, and later made the solar-electric powered Gossamer Penguin and Solar Challenger. The basic configuration and concepts for Pathfinder were first realized with the HALSOL (High Altitude Solar) aircraft, built in 1983 by AeroVironment and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Pathfinder was constructed of advanced composites, plastics, and foam, and despite a wingspan of nearly 100 feet, it weighed only about 600 pounds. Pathfinder was one of several unpiloted prototypes under study by NASA's ERAST (Environmental Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology) program, a NASA-industry alliance which is helping develop advanced technologies that will enable aircraft to study the earth's environment during extremely long flights at altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet. (See project description below for Pathfinder's conversion to Pathfinder Plus.) In 1998, the Pathfinder solar-powered flying wing (see its photographs and project description) was modified into the longer-winged Pathfinder Plus configuration and on Aug. 6, 1998, Pathfinder Plus set an altitude record (for propeller-driven aircraft) of approximately 80,285 feet at the Pacific Missile Range Facility. The goal of the Pathfinder Plus flights was to validate new solar, aerodynamic, propulsion, and systems technology developed for its successor, the Centurion, which was designed to reach and sustain altitudes in the 100,000-foot range. The Centurion was succeeded by the Helios Prototype with a goal of reaching and sustaining flight at an altitude of 100,000 feet

  2. Water masses, ocean fronts, and the structure of Antarctic seabird communities: putting the eastern Bellingshausen Sea in perspective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ribic, Christine A.; Ainley, David G.; Ford, R. Glenn; Fraser, William R.; Tynan, Cynthia T.; Woehler, Eric J.

    2015-01-01

    dominated by Adélie penguins, a Low Antarctic group dominated by petrels, and a Subantarctic group dominated by albatross were evident. In eastern Bellingshausen waters during summer, groups were inconsistent. With regard to frontal features, Antarctic-wide in winter, distance to the ice edge was an important explanatory factor for nine of 14 species, distance to the Antarctic Polar Front for six species and distance to the Shelf Break Front for six species; however, these Antarctic-wide models could not successfully predict spatial relationships of winter seabird density (individual species or total) and biomass in the eastern Bellingshausen. Antarctic-wide in summer, distance to land/Antarctic continent was important for 10 of 18 species, not a surprising result for these summer-time Antarctic breeders, as colonies are associated with ice-free areas of coastal land. Distance to the Shelf Break Front was important for 8 and distance to the southern boundary of the ACC was important for 7 species. These summer models were more successful in predicting eastern Bellingshausen species density and species diversity but failed to predict total seabird density or biomass. Antarctic seabirds appear to respond to fronts in a way similar to that observed along the well-studied upwelling front of the California Current. To understand fully the seabird patterns found in this synthesis, multi-disciplinary at-sea investigations, including a quantified prey field, are needed.

  3. Water masses, ocean fronts, and the structure of Antarctic seabird communities: putting the eastern Bellingshausen Sea in perspective

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ribic, Christine A.; Ainley, David G.; Ford, R. Glenn; Fraser, William R.; Tynan, Cynthia T.; Woehler, Eric J.

    2011-01-01

    dominated by Adélie penguins, a Low Antarctic group dominated by petrels, and a Subantarctic group dominated by albatross were evident. In eastern Bellingshausen waters during summer, groups were inconsistent. With regard to frontal features, Antarctic-wide in winter, distance to the ice edge was an important explanatory factor for nine of 14 species, distance to the Antarctic Polar Front for six species and distance to the Shelf Break Front for six species; however, these Antarctic-wide models could not successfully predict spatial relationships of winter seabird density (individual species or total) and biomass in the eastern Bellingshausen. Antarctic-wide in summer, distance to land/Antarctic continent was important for 10 of 18 species, not a surprising result for these summer-time Antarctic breeders, as colonies are associated with ice-free areas of coastal land. Distance to the Shelf Break Front was important for 8 and distance to the southern boundary of the ACC was important for 7 species. These summer models were more successful in predicting eastern Bellingshausen species density and species diversity but failed to predict total seabird density or biomass. Antarctic seabirds appear to respond to fronts in a way similar to that observed along the well-studied upwelling front of the California Current. To understand fully the seabird patterns found in this synthesis, multi-disciplinary at-sea investigations, including a quantified prey field, are needed.

  4. Fluid flow and assessment of the leakage potential in the Snohvit reservoir and overburden in the Barents Sea

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tasianas, A.

    2012-12-01

    Department of Geology, University of Tromsø, Dramsveien 201, 9037 Tromsø, Norway Abstract ____________________________________________________________________________ The Snøhvit reservoir and overburden have been an important location for testing Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) techniques. Fluid flow in the region is caused mainly by repeated glacial cycles and differential geographic uplift, which caused tilting and spilling of various structural traps in the area. Geological modeling, undertaken as part of the ECO2 project activities, has allowed to model the local stratigraphy and any potential fluid flow pathways in order to determine how effective CCS would be in the area. 3D seismic data related to cube ST0306 from the Hammerfest Sedimentary Basin (HFB), covering the Snohvit and Albatross fields, were used to better understand the pathways and mechanisms related to fluid flow in the area and thus propose also potential leakage scenarios. The inclusion of geological features such as gas chimneys, faults, wells, pockmarks at the seabed and vertical fluid flow structures underlying the pockmarks in the models has also allowed to accurately simulate fluid flow through realistic geological models. Leaking of CO2 from the Tubåen Formation (Fm) can partially migrate upwards to the Hekkingen Fm or less deep formations via the faults. If leaking reaches the tertiary faults, CO2 can migrate through the Top kvitting Fm and maybe continue via pipe structures, faults or the clinoforms of the Torsk Fm and accumulate under the Upper Regional Unconformity (URU). The presence of pockmarks at the seabed could indicate further leakage between the URU and the seabed via vertical fluid flow structures underlying the pockmarks. Depending on the leakage mode, models of different types of domain size and grid resolution were created and populated with properties such as porosity (SPhi), vertical permeability (kv), horizontal permeability (Kh), anisotropy ratio (AnIso), Total

  5. Synthetic polymers in the marine environment: a rapidly increasing, long-term threat.

    PubMed

    Moore, Charles James

    2008-10-01

    Synthetic polymers, commonly known as plastics, have been entering the marine environment in quantities paralleling their level of production over the last half century. However, in the last two decades of the 20th Century, the deposition rate accelerated past the rate of production, and plastics are now one of the most common and persistent pollutants in ocean waters and beaches worldwide. Thirty years ago the prevailing attitude of the plastic industry was that "plastic litter is a very small proportion of all litter and causes no harm to the environment except as an eyesore" [Derraik, J.G.B., 2002. The pollution of the marine environment by plastic debris: a review. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 44(9), 842-852]. Between 1960 and 2000, the world production of plastic resins increased 25-fold, while recovery of the material remained below 5%. Between 1970 and 2003, plastics became the fastest growing segment of the US municipal waste stream, increasing nine-fold, and marine litter is now 60-80% plastic, reaching 90-95% in some areas. While undoubtedly still an eyesore, plastic debris today is having significant harmful effects on marine biota. Albatross, fulmars, shearwaters and petrels mistake floating plastics for food, and many individuals of these species are affected; in fact, 44% of all seabird species are known to ingest plastic. Sea turtles ingest plastic bags, fishing line and other plastics, as do 26 species of cetaceans. In all, 267 species of marine organisms worldwide are known to have been affected by plastic debris, a number that will increase as smaller organisms are assessed. The number of fish, birds, and mammals that succumb each year to derelict fishing nets and lines in which they become entangled cannot be reliably known; but estimates are in the millions. We divide marine plastic debris into two categories: macro, >5 mm and micro, <5 mm. While macro-debris may sometimes be traced to its origin by object identification or markings, micro

  6. Water masses, ocean fronts, and the structure of Antarctic seabird communities: Putting the eastern Bellingshausen Sea in perspective

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ribic, Christine A.; Ainley, David G.; Glenn Ford, R.; Fraser, William R.; Tynan, Cynthia T.; Woehler, Eric J.

    2011-07-01

    by Adélie penguins, a Low Antarctic group dominated by petrels, and a Subantarctic group dominated by albatross were evident. In eastern Bellingshausen waters during summer, groups were inconsistent. With regard to frontal features, Antarctic-wide in winter, distance to the ice edge was an important explanatory factor for nine of 14 species, distance to the Antarctic Polar Front for six species and distance to the Shelf Break Front for six species; however, these Antarctic-wide models could not successfully predict spatial relationships of winter seabird density (individual species or total) and biomass in the eastern Bellingshausen. Antarctic-wide in summer, distance to land/Antarctic continent was important for 10 of 18 species, not a surprising result for these summer-time Antarctic breeders, as colonies are associated with ice-free areas of coastal land. Distance to the Shelf Break Front was important for 8 and distance to the southern boundary of the ACC was important for 7 species. These summer models were more successful in predicting eastern Bellingshausen species density and species diversity but failed to predict total seabird density or biomass. Antarctic seabirds appear to respond to fronts in a way similar to that observed along the well-studied upwelling front of the California Current. To understand fully the seabird patterns found in this synthesis, multi-disciplinary at-sea investigations, including a quantified prey field, are needed.

  7. Hyper III on ramp with single-piece pivot wing installed & Princeton sailwing on ground, with Da

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1969-01-01

    The Hyper III's shape provided too little lift to land without some type of deployable wing. The single free flight was made using a simulated one-piece pivot wing, which was attached to the upper surface of the fuselage. This used a wing kit from an HP-11 sailplane, which was assembled by Daniel Garrabrant (shown in the photo). Another possible wing was the Flexible Princeton Sailwing. The piloted Hyper III flights were to be made using an SA-16B Albatross seaplane as the drop aircraft. The Hyper III would be carried under the SA-16B's wing on a drop-tank rack. Flight Research Center Director Paul Bikle asked NASA Headquarters for permission to exchange the Center's C-47 for the SA-16. Headquarters turned down this request, effectively ending the possibility of Hyper III flights with a pilot on board. The Flight Research Center (FRC--as Dryden was named from 1959 until 1976) already had experience with testing small-scale aircraft using model-airplane techniques, but the first true remotely piloted research vehicle was the Hyper III, which flew only once in December 1969. At that time, the Center was engaged in flight research with a variety of reentry shapes called lifting bodies, and there was a desire both to expand the flight research experience with maneuverable reentry vehicles, including a high-performance, variable-geometry craft, and to investigate a remotely piloted flight research technique that made maximum use of a research pilot's skill and experience by placing him 'in the loop' as if he were in the cockpit. (There have been, as yet, no female research pilots assigned to Dryden.) The Hyper III as originally conceived was a stiletto-shaped lifting body that had resulted from a study at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. It was one of a number of hypersonic, cross-range reentry vehicles studied at Langley. (Hypersonic means Mach 5--five times the speed of sound--or faster; cross-range means able to fly a considerable distance to the