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Sample records for albatross phoebastria immutabilis

  1. Embryogenesis of the Uropygial Glands in the Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis (Rothschild, 1893): Procellariiformes).

    PubMed

    Rehorek, S J; Wu, J L; Smith, T D; Beeching, S C

    2017-04-07

    An avian uropygial gland is located on the mid-dorsum of the tail, and is the only external gland found in birds. Most studies have focused on the function, gross anatomy and chemical nature of this gland, with little research on its ontogeny. The purpose of this study was to examine the development of this gland in a series of Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis) embryos. Specimens were examined anatomically and histologically. It was found that grooves preceded glandular development by many stages. The embryogenesis of the uropygial gland was divided into 6 phases: preinception, groove inception, mesodermal separation, migrating mesodermal cells, oval shaped "depressions", constriction and finally glandular inception. No other gland is known to develop similarly, though there may be parallels with femoral gland development. In comparison to other bird species, the length of the development period in the Albatross, as well as other compounding factors, make it difficult to determine the significance of these observations. The development of a mesodermal band, soon to be a connective tissue capsule, is more complex than originally described in ducks. Thus, the unique nature of this gland is established, but the significance of the observations required further studies into uropygial gland development. Anat Rec, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robbins, C.S.; Rice, D.W.; King, Warren B.

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Probable extirpation of a breeding colony of Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) on Bermuda by Pleistocene sea-level rise.

    PubMed

    Olson, Storrs L; Hearty, Paul J

    2003-10-28

    Albatrosses (Diomedeidae) do not occur in the North Atlantic Ocean today except as vagrants, although five species were present in the early Pliocene. No fossil breeding sites of albatrosses were known previously. The timing of extinction of albatrosses in the North Atlantic was likewise unknown. Deposits that formed near present-day sea level along the southeastern shore of Bermuda contain remains of a former breeding colony and include intact eggshells and bones of embryos, juveniles, and adults of Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus), a critically endangered species now confined to a few islets in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. These deposits are correlated with the middle Pleistocene Lower Town Hill Formation, which at other sites have a radiometric age of 405,000 years ago. This equates with the marine isotope stage 11 interglacial, which culminated in a rise in sea-level to >+20 m. Bones of a juvenile Short-tailed Albatross were also found in beach deposits at +21.3 m from this same interglacial. We interpret the extirpation of albatrosses on Bermuda as probably resulting from lack of nesting sites protected from storm surges over the little emergent land that remained at the height of the marine isotope stage 11 sea level rise.

  12. Probable extirpation of a breeding colony of Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus) on Bermuda by Pleistocene sea-level rise

    PubMed Central

    Olson, Storrs L.; Hearty, Paul J.

    2003-01-01

    Albatrosses (Diomedeidae) do not occur in the North Atlantic Ocean today except as vagrants, although five species were present in the early Pliocene. No fossil breeding sites of albatrosses were known previously. The timing of extinction of albatrosses in the North Atlantic was likewise unknown. Deposits that formed near present-day sea level along the southeastern shore of Bermuda contain remains of a former breeding colony and include intact eggshells and bones of embryos, juveniles, and adults of Short-tailed Albatross (Phoebastria albatrus), a critically endangered species now confined to a few islets in the northwestern Pacific Ocean. These deposits are correlated with the middle Pleistocene Lower Town Hill Formation, which at other sites have a radiometric age of ≈405,000 years ago. This equates with the marine isotope stage 11 interglacial, which culminated in a rise in sea-level to >+20 m. Bones of a juvenile Short-tailed Albatross were also found in beach deposits at +21.3 m from this same interglacial. We interpret the extirpation of albatrosses on Bermuda as probably resulting from lack of nesting sites protected from storm surges over the little emergent land that remained at the height of the marine isotope stage 11 sea level rise. PMID:14566060

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Non-destructive monitoring of trace element levels in short-tailed albatrosses (Phoebastria albatrus) and black-footed albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes) from Torishima Island, Japan using eggs and blood.

    PubMed

    Ikemoto, Tokutaka; Kunito, Takashi; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Tsurumi, Miyako; Sato, Fumio; Oka, Nariko

    2005-01-01

    Concentrations of 18 trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Co, Cu, Zn, Se, Rb, Sr, Mo, Ag, Cd, Sb, Cs, Ba, Hg, Tl and Pb) were determined in abandoned eggs of short-tailed albatrosses and abandoned eggs and blood of black-footed albatrosses from Torishima Island, Japan in 2002. Mercury concentration was highest among the toxic elements in egg content of both the two species. In some egg contents of black-footed albatrosses, Hg concentrations were higher than the threshold level that may cause decreased hatchability and aberrant nesting behavior in some avian species. Concentrations of Cd in egg content and Ba in egg content and shell increased with an increase in egg breadth/length ratio, whereas Hg in egg content showed an opposite trend in black-footed albatrosses. Since egg breadth/length ratio is known to increase with the age of mother bird, this result may imply that concentrations of these elements in eggs vary with age of mother bird. In blood of black-footed albatross chicks, concentration of Hg was highest among the toxic elements and the Hg concentration showed an increase in the later growth stages. In contrast, concentration of Sr in blood decreased with growth stage. Since the behaviour of Sr is similar to that of Ca in animals, it is conceivable that Sr was used along with Ca for the formation of bone.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonates and Carboxylic Acids in Liver, Muscle and Adipose Tissues of Black-Footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes) from Midway Island, North Pacific Ocean

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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 C16 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

    2009-10-28

    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

  17. 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

  18. Incubation energetics of the Laysan Albatross.

    PubMed

    Pettit, T N; Nagy, K A; Ellis, H I; Whittow, G C

    1988-01-01

    The energy expenditure of incubating and foraging Laysan Albatross (Diomedea immutabilis, mean body weight 3.07 kg) was estimated by means of the doubly-labelled water technique. During incubation, the energy expenditure was similar to that of resting birds that were not incubating an egg. The energy expenditure of foraging albatross (2072 kJ/day) was 2.6 times that of resting birds. It was concluded that the energy expenditure of the tropical Laysan Albatross was not less than that of species foraging over cold, high-latitude oceans. An energy budget compiled for an incubating pair of albatross revealed that the energy expenditure of the female was greater than that of the male bird, during the incubation period.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Toxaphene and other persistent organochlorine pesticides in three species of albatrosses from the north and south Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Muir, Derek C G; Jones, Paul D; Karlsson, Heidi; Koczansky, Krystina; Stern, Gary A; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Ludwig, James P; Reid, Hamish; Robertson, Chris J R; Giesy, John P

    2002-02-01

    Toxaphene and other persistent organochlorine (OC) pesticides (chlordane-related compounds [sigmaCHL], DDT-related compounds [sigmaDDT], hexachlorocyclohexanes [sigmaHCH], tris(p-chloro-phenyl)methane, hexachlorobenzene, octachlorostyrene, dieldrin) were determined in fat of Laysan albatross (Diomedea immutabilis) and in fat and eggs of blackfooted albatross (Diomedea nigripes) from the central north Pacific Ocean. The HCH isomers and chlordane- and DDT-related compounds were also determined in eggs of northern royal albatross (Diomedea sanfordi) collected in New Zealand. Toxaphene was detected in fat samples at mean +/- standard deviation (SD) levels ranging from 243 +/- 61 ng/g wet weight in Laysan albatross to 1,020 +/- 237 ng/g wet weight in blackfooted albatross. These levels were higher than sigmaCHL and sigmaHCH but lower than sigmaDDT. In eggs of blackfooted albatross, toxaphene was the major OC pesticide, averaging 513 ng/g wet weight in two pooled samples compared with 293 ng/g wet weight for sigmaDDT. Two toxaphene congeners, the octachloroborane B8-1413 (Parlar 26) and the nonachlorobornane B9-1679 (P50), comprised about 38% of total toxaphene in both albatross species. All OC compounds were present at significantly higher levels in blackfooted than Laysan albatross fat with the exception of sigmaHCH, dieldrin, and octachlorostyrene. Mean levels of sigmaDDT and sigmaHCH in northern royal albatross eggs from New Zealand were 4 and 60 times lower, respectively, than in blackfooted albatross eggs. The pattern of OC pesticide accumulation was consistent with differences in distribution of the three species in the Pacific Ocean, with highest levels in blackfooted albatross, which feed off the west coast of North America, intermediate levels in Laysan albatross, which frequent the western Pacific, and lowest levels in northern royal albatross, which are confined to the southern oceans surrounding the Antarctic.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Trophic relationships of albatrosses associated with squid and large-mesh drift-net fisheries in the North Pacific Ocean

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gould, Patrick J.; Ostrom, Peggy H.; Walker, William

    1997-01-01

    The diets of Laysan (Diomedea immutabilis) and black-footed albatrosses (D. nigripes) killed in squid and large-mesh drift nets in the transitional zone of the North Pacific Ocean were investigated by examining the contents of the digestive tracts and determining δ13C and δ15N values in breast-muscle tissue. The results show that (i) the combined prey of the two species of albatross consists of over 46 species of marine organisms including coelenterates, arthropods, mollusks, fish, and marine mammals; (ii) both species supplement their traditional diets with food made available by commercial fishing operations (e.g., net-caught squid and offal); (iii) while obtained from drift nets, diets of nonbreeding Laysan and black-footed albatrosses are dominated by neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartrami); (iv) in the absence of drift-net-related food, Laysan albatrosses feed most heavily on fish and black-footed albatrosses feed most heavily on squid; and (v) based on δ15N values, nonbreeding adult Laysan albatrosses from the transitional zone of the North Pacific Ocean and Laysan albatross nestlings fed by adults from Midway Island in the subtropical Pacific feed at one trophic level and one-third of a trophic level lower than black-footed albatrosses, respectively.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Waved albatrosses can navigate with strong magnets attached to their head.

    PubMed

    Mouritsen, Henrik; Huyvaert, Kathryn P; Frost, Barrie J; Anderson, David J

    2003-11-01

    The foraging excursions of waved albatrosses Phoebastria irrorata during incubation are ideally suited for navigational studies because they navigate between their Galápagos breeding site and one specific foraging site in the upwelling zone of Peru along highly predictable, straight-line routes. We used satellite telemetry to follow free-flying albatrosses after manipulating magnetic orientation cues by attaching magnets to strategic places on the birds' heads. All experimental, sham-manipulated and control birds, were able to navigate back and forth from Galápagos to their normal foraging sites at the Peruvian coast over 1000 km away. Birds subjected to the three treatments did not differ in the routes flown or in the duration and speed of the trips. The interpretations and implications of this result depend on which of the current suggested magnetic sensory mechanisms is actually being used by the birds.

  8. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Metals in Laysan albatrosses from Midway Atoll.

    PubMed

    Burger, J; Gochfeld, M

    2000-02-01

    We examined the concentrations of lead, cadmium, selenium, chromium, manganese, arsenic, tin, and mercury in the heart, liver, kidney, salt gland, and feathers of adult (n = 10) and young (n = 15) Laysan albatrosses (Diomedea immutabilis) from Midway Atoll in the north-central Pacific Ocean. Lead poisoning has been reported in some Laysans nesting near buildings on Midway, but other heavy metals have not been examined. We examined tissue distribution of metals by age and gender (adults only). We also examined tissue concentrations in three birds with a droop-wing syndrome characteristic of lead poisoning. We compared metal levels in salt gland (a special excretory organ of marine birds) with those in other tissues. All metals varied significantly across tissues in both adults and chicks, and the relative tissue concentrations were similar in adults and chicks for most metals. Adults had higher levels of most metals in most organs, with significant differences mainly for cadmium (up to 20 x higher in kidney and salt gland) and for mercury (17 x higher in kidney). However, chicks had significantly higher manganese in liver and arsenic in salt gland. The salt gland had concentrations of most metals (except cadmium, selenium, and mercury) comparable to the kidney levels, which is consistent with it serving as an excretory organ for the cations. Chicks with droop-wings had very elevated levels of lead in their tissue (16.8 ppm in feathers, 14 ppm in liver and kidney), whereas levels of other metals were not significantly different from the apparently normal chicks.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.; 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

  15. 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.

  16. Corticosterone secretion through long incubation shifts in Diomedea albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Hector, J A; Harvey, S

    1986-06-01

    Blood samples were collected from free-living incubating Diomedea albatross during single incubation shifts, both daily (wandering albatross D. exulans and every 2 days (grey-headed albatross D. chrysostoma and black-browed albatross D. melanophris), and the concentration of corticosterone was determined. Within 48 hr a significant increase in the corticosterone concentration was observed in each species. The magnitude of the increase was greater in the grey-headed and black-browed albatrosses than in the wandering albatross. Corticosterone concentrations rose steadily through the incubation shift in grey-headed and black-browed albatrosses, but fluctuated erratically in wandering albatrosses. All three species of albatross fast during incubation and the increase in adrenocortical activity is probably related to the voluntary deprivation of food and water.

  17. 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.

  18. LEAD POISONING IN LAYSAN ALBATROSS (PHOESBASTRIA IMMUTABILIS) CHICKS: EVALUATION OF CONTAMINANT SOURCES ON MIDWAY ATOLL USING STABLE LEAD ISOTOPIC COMPOSITION. (U915730)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    2011-11-07

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. AMSOC's Albatross Award to Joe Reid

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stevenson, Robert E.

    Joseph L. Reid, premier physical oceanographer at Scripps Institiution of Oceanography, La Jolla, Calif., received the highly prized Albatross Award at the recent Joint Oceanographic Assembly in Acapulco. The presentation was by Robert E. Stevenson, Secretary General, International Association for the Physical Sciences of the Ocean, San Diego, Calif. Reid was honored “for his outrageous insistence that ocean circulation models should bear some resemblance to reality.”

  4. Surviving with low genetic diversity: the case of albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Milot, Emmanuel; Weimerskirch, Henri; Duchesne, Pierre; Bernatchez, Louis

    2007-03-22

    Low genetic diversity is predicted to negatively impact species viability and has been a central concern for conservation. In contrast, the possibility that some species may thrive in spite of a relatively poor diversity has received little attention. The wandering and Amsterdam albatrosses (Diomedea exulans and Diomedea amsterdamensis) are long-lived seabirds standing at an extreme along the gradient of life strategies, having traits that may favour inbreeding and low genetic diversity. Divergence time of the two species is estimated at 0.84 Myr ago from cytochrome b data. We tested the hypothesis that both albatrosses inherited poor genetic diversity from their common ancestor. Within the wandering albatross, per cent polymorphic loci and expected heterozygosity at amplified fragment length polymorphisms were approximately one-third of the minimal values reported in other vertebrates. Genetic diversity in the Amsterdam albatross, which is recovering from a severe bottleneck, was about twice as low as in the wandering albatross. Simulations supported the hypothesis that genetic diversity in albatrosses was already depleted prior to their divergence. Given the generally high breeding success of these species, it is likely that they are not suffering much from their impoverished diversity. Whether albatrosses are unique in this regard is unknown, but they appear to challenge the classical view about the negative consequences of genetic depletion on species survival.

  5. Surviving with low genetic diversity: the case of albatrosses

    PubMed Central

    Milot, Emmanuel; Weimerskirch, Henri; Duchesne, Pierre; Bernatchez, Louis

    2007-01-01

    Low genetic diversity is predicted to negatively impact species viability and has been a central concern for conservation. In contrast, the possibility that some species may thrive in spite of a relatively poor diversity has received little attention. The wandering and Amsterdam albatrosses (Diomedea exulans and Diomedea amsterdamensis) are long-lived seabirds standing at an extreme along the gradient of life strategies, having traits that may favour inbreeding and low genetic diversity. Divergence time of the two species is estimated at 0.84 Myr ago from cytochrome b data. We tested the hypothesis that both albatrosses inherited poor genetic diversity from their common ancestor. Within the wandering albatross, per cent polymorphic loci and expected heterozygosity at amplified fragment length polymorphisms were approximately one-third of the minimal values reported in other vertebrates. Genetic diversity in the Amsterdam albatross, which is recovering from a severe bottleneck, was about twice as low as in the wandering albatross. Simulations supported the hypothesis that genetic diversity in albatrosses was already depleted prior to their divergence. Given the generally high breeding success of these species, it is likely that they are not suffering much from their impoverished diversity. Whether albatrosses are unique in this regard is unknown, but they appear to challenge the classical view about the negative consequences of genetic depletion on species survival. PMID:17251114

  6. Distribution of albatross remains in the Far East regions during the Holocene, based on zooarchaeological remains.

    PubMed

    Eda, Masaki; Higuchi, Hiroyoshi

    2004-07-01

    Many albatross remains have been found in the Japanese Islands and the surrounding areas, such as Sakhalin and South Korea. These remains are interesting for two reasons: numerous sites from which albatross remains have been found are located in coastal regions of the Far East where no albatrosses have been distributed recently, and there are some sites in which albatross remains represent a large portion of avian remains, although albatrosses are not easily preyed upon by human beings. We collected data on albatross remains from archaeological sites in the Far East regions during the Holocene and arranged the remains geographically, temporally and in terms of quantity. Based on these results, we showed that coastal areas along the Seas of Okhotsk and Japan have rarely been used by albatrosses in Modern times, though formerly there were many albatrosses. We proposed two explanations for the shrinkage of their distributional range: excessive hunting in the breeding areas, and distributional changes of prey for albatrosses.

  7. Global circumnavigations: tracking year-round ranges of nonbreeding albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Croxall, John P; Silk, Janet R D; Phillips, Richard A; Afanasyev, Vsevolod; Briggs, Dirk R

    2005-01-14

    Although albatrosses are paradigms of oceanic specialization, their foraging areas and migration routes when not breeding remain essentially unknown. Our continuous remote tracking of 22 adult gray-headed albatrosses for over 30 bird-years reveals three distinct strategies: (i) Stay in breeding home range; (ii) make return migrations to a specific area of the southwest Indian Ocean; and (iii) make one or more global circumnavigations (the fastest in just 46 days). The consistencies in patterns, routes, and timings offer the first hope of identifying areas of critical habitat for nonbreeding albatrosses, wherein appropriate management of longline fisheries might alleviate the plight of the world's most threatened family of birds.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Pinpointing 'Isla Meta': the case of sea turtles and albatrosses

    PubMed

    Papi; Luschi

    1996-01-01

    Satellite tracking has recently shown that the very long open-sea journeys of sea turtles and albatrosses share several features, in spite of the different physiological and environmental constraints to which turtles and birds are subjected. The reviews of data obtained by tracking migration and feeding routes show that both sea turtles and albatrosses are able (i) to pinpoint small, isolated targets by following straight courses, (ii) to continue on a bearing at night even when the moon is not visible, (iii) to compensate for wind or current drift and (iv) to return home after experimental, long-distance displacements. Sea turtles and albatrosses seem to rely on a position-fixing capacity which cannot be explained by known navigational mechanisms but might be shared by other animals that display similar feats of open-sea guidance. Future research will further benefit from satellite telemetry and other new techniques applied to experimental investigations.

  13. 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.

  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

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

    2009-10-07

    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.

  15. Genetic structure, conservation genetics and evidence of speciation by range expansion in shy and white-capped albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Abbott, Cathryn L; Double, Michael C

    2003-11-01

    Six variable microsatellite loci were used to examine genetic structuring in the closely related shy albatross (Thalassarche cauta) and white-capped albatross (T. steadi). First, levels of genetic differentiation between the species, and among three populations within each species, were analysed using amova, FST and RST. We found high levels of genetic structuring and detected many unshared alleles between the species, which provide strong evidence against any contemporary gene flow between them. Within each species, shy albatross populations were found to be genetically distinct whereas white-capped albatross populations were undifferentiated, which implies that dispersal events are much rarer in the former than in the latter. These results formed the basis for the recommendation that the three white-capped albatross populations (as a whole) and each shy albatross population be treated as separate units for conservation. Second, levels of genetic diversity and allelic patterns in shy and white-capped albatrosses were assessed for whether they support earlier mtDNA results suggesting that shy albatrosses arose through range expansion of white-capped albatrosses. All measures indicated lower genetic diversity within shy albatrosses than within white-capped albatrosses and upheld the hypothesis that shy albatrosses were founded by white-capped albatrosses.

  16. 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.

  17. Why breed every other year? The case of albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Jouventin, Pierre; Dobson, F Stephen

    2002-09-22

    Albatrosses exhibit extremely low reproductive rates, each pair brooding only one egg and subsequent chick at a time. Furthermore, in several of the species, the majority of successful pairs breed only once every second year (termed 'biennial' breeding). Thus, on average, these latter species have an annual fecundity of about half an offspring per year, while other albatrosses produce an egg and chick every year. Using our 40-year bank of demographic data, we compared 12 species of albatrosses according to these two breeding strategies to examine potential causes of biennial breeding. Biennial breeding could be due to physiological constraints, larger animals breeding more slowly, or ecological constraints, more distant pelagic feeding trips being energetically costly, or both. We tested these hypotheses by looking for predicted associations between the duration of the rearing period, the distance to the oceanic feeding zone and breeding frequency. We also looked for associations of these variables with other life-history traits. Body size had a strong influence on the duration of the rearing period, but not on the distance that birds travelled to the feeding zone. Both the duration of the rearing period and distance to the feeding zone appeared to have direct influences on breeding frequency, as revealed by a path analysis, and thus both hypotheses to explain biennial breeding were supported. Finally, breeding frequency exhibited a strong trade-off with adult survival and age at maturity, indicating that slower breeders live through more breeding seasons, perhaps mitigating their lower annual reproductive output.

  18. 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.

  19. Why breed every other year? The case of albatrosses.

    PubMed Central

    Jouventin, Pierre; Dobson, F Stephen

    2002-01-01

    Albatrosses exhibit extremely low reproductive rates, each pair brooding only one egg and subsequent chick at a time. Furthermore, in several of the species, the majority of successful pairs breed only once every second year (termed 'biennial' breeding). Thus, on average, these latter species have an annual fecundity of about half an offspring per year, while other albatrosses produce an egg and chick every year. Using our 40-year bank of demographic data, we compared 12 species of albatrosses according to these two breeding strategies to examine potential causes of biennial breeding. Biennial breeding could be due to physiological constraints, larger animals breeding more slowly, or ecological constraints, more distant pelagic feeding trips being energetically costly, or both. We tested these hypotheses by looking for predicted associations between the duration of the rearing period, the distance to the oceanic feeding zone and breeding frequency. We also looked for associations of these variables with other life-history traits. Body size had a strong influence on the duration of the rearing period, but not on the distance that birds travelled to the feeding zone. Both the duration of the rearing period and distance to the feeding zone appeared to have direct influences on breeding frequency, as revealed by a path analysis, and thus both hypotheses to explain biennial breeding were supported. Finally, breeding frequency exhibited a strong trade-off with adult survival and age at maturity, indicating that slower breeders live through more breeding seasons, perhaps mitigating their lower annual reproductive output. PMID:12350259

  20. Albatross populations in peril: a population trajectory for black-browed albatrosses at south Georgia.

    PubMed

    Arnold, Jennifer M; Brault, Solange; Croxall, John P

    2006-02-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

    2016-07-21

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2005-03-07

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Perfluorooctanesulfonate and related fluorochemicals in albatrosses, elephant seals, penguins, and polar skuas from the Southern Ocean.

    PubMed

    Tao, Lin; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Kajiwara, Natsuko; Costa, Monica M; Fillmann, Gilberto; Takahashi, Shin; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2006-12-15

    Perfluorinated chemicals (PFCs) have been used as surfactants in industrial and commercial products for over 50 years. Earlier studies of the geographical distribution of PFCs focused primarily on the Northern Hemisphere, while little attention was paid to the Southern Hemisphere. In this study, livers from eight species of albatrosses, blood from elephant seal, and blood and eggs from penguins and polar skua collected from the Southern Ocean and the Antarctic during 1995-2005 were analyzed for 10 PFCs. In addition, for comparison with the Southern Ocean samples, we analyzed liver, sera, and eggs from two species of albatrosses from Midway Atoll in the North Pacific Ocean. Perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) were found in livers of albatrosses from the Southern Ocean. PFOS was the major contaminant, although the concentrations were <5 ng/g, wet wt, in 92% of the albatross livers analyzed. PFOA was detected in 30% of the albatross livers, with a concentration range of <0.6-2.45 ng/g,wet wt. Other PFCs, including long-chain perfluorocarboxylates (PFCAs), were below the limits of quantitation in livers of albatrosses from the Southern Ocean. In liver, sera, and eggs of albatrosses from the North Pacific Ocean, long-chain PFCAs (perfluorononanoate, perfluorodecanoate, perfluoroundecanoate, and perfluorododecanoate) were found at concentrations similar to those of PFOS and PFOA. The mean concentration of PFOS in livers of Laysan albatrosses from the North Pacific Ocean (5.1 ng/g, wet wt) was higher than that in several species of albatrosses from the Southern Ocean (2.2 ng/g, wetwt). Species-specific differences in the concentrations of PFOS were noted among Southern Ocean albatrosses, whereas geographical differences in PFOS concentrations among the Indian Ocean, South Pacific Ocean, and South Atlantic Ocean were insignificant. Concentrations of PFOS and PFOA were, respectively, 2- and 17-fold higher in liver than in sera of Laysan

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. PCDDs, PCDFs, and coplanar PCBs in albatross from the North Pacific and Southern Oceans: levels, patterns, and toxicological implications.

    PubMed

    Tanabe, Shinsuke; Watanabe, Mafumi; Minh, Tu Binh; Kunisue, Tatsuya; Nakanishi, Shigeyuki; Ono, Hitoshi; Tanaka, Hiroyuki

    2004-01-15

    Concentrations of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (coplanar PCBs) were determined in five albatross species collected from the North Pacific and Southern Oceans to assess the north-south differences in residue levels, accumulation patterns, and toxic potential. Black-footed and Laysan albatrosses from the North Pacific Ocean contained higher levels of PCDD/Fs and coplanar PCBs than albatrosses from the Southern Ocean, indicating that emission sources of these contaminants were predominant in the northern hemisphere. Residue levels in albatrosses from the remote North Pacific Ocean far from the point source of pollution were comparable to or higher than those in terrestrial and coastal birds from contaminated areas in developed nations, suggesting the specific exposure and accumulation of PCDD/Fs and coplanar PCBs in albatross. The long life span and ingestion of plastic resin pellets by albatrosses could be the plausible explanations for the elevated accumulation of persistent and lipophilic contaminants including PCDD/Fs and coplanar PCBs in these birds. Relative proportions of PCDFs and coplanar PCBs in albatross were higher than those observed in birds inhabiting terrestrial and coastal areas, suggesting that these toxic chemicals may have higher transportability by air and water than PCDDs. Congener patterns of PCDD/Fs in albatross showed less variability as compared to those in terrestrial species, indicating that contamination patterns of PCDD/Fs were similar within the open ocean environment. Contributions of PCDD/Fs to total TEQs in albatrosses from the open ocean were generally lower than those in terrestrial birds, suggesting different toxic potency of PCDD/Fs and coplanar PCBs on animals inhabiting open ocean and terrestrial environment. Whereas albatrosses from southern oceans retained lower TEQ concentrations, possible adverse effects of PCDD/Fs and coplanar PCBs

  17. 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

  18. Accumulation status of persistent organochlorines in albatrosses from the North Pacific and the Southern Ocean.

    PubMed

    Guruge, K S; Watanabe, M; Tanaka, H; Tanabe, S

    2001-01-01

    Current status of contamination by persistent organochlorines (OCs) such as polychlorinated biphenyles (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane and its metabolites (DDTs), isomers of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCHs), hexachlorobenzene (HCB) and chlordane compounds (CHLs) were examined in 61 individuals belonging to eight albatross species collected from the North Pacific and the Southern Ocean. Generally high OC concentrations were found in albatrosses from the North Pacific than those from the Southern Oceans. Black-footed albatrosses had noticeably high PCBs and DDTs concentrations with mean values of 92 and 33 micrograms/g wet weight in subcutaneous fat, respectively. Among the other OCs, concentration of CHLs was higher than that of HCB in North Pacific albatrosses. HCHs accumulation was the lowest among all the OCs analyzed. Species-specific differences were observed for HCB, CHLs and DDTs in some species in the Southern Ocean. No significant difference of gender and age-related accumulation was observed in total OCs. However, PCB concentrations were higher in mature birds than those from immature ones in the Southern Ocean. Species-specific accumulation patterns of OCs in albatrosses were closely related with their feeding, migration, age and geographical ranges.

  19. 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.

  20. Caterpillars benefit from thermal ecosystem engineering by wandering albatrosses on sub-Antarctic Marion Island.

    PubMed

    Sinclair, Brent J; Chown, Steven L

    2006-03-22

    Wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) nest on Southern Ocean islands, building elevated nests upon which they incubate eggs and raise chicks, and which the chicks occupy through winter. The nests support high invertebrate biomass, including larvae of the flightless moth Pringleophaga marioni. Here we argue that high biomass of P. marioni in the nests is not associated with nutrient loading as previously suspected, but that higher temperatures in the nests increase growth and feeding rate, and decrease deleterious repeated cold exposure, providing fitness advantages for P. marioni. Thus, wandering albatrosses may be serving as thermal engineers, modifying temperature and therefore enabling better resource use by P. marioni.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kendall, William L.; Converse, Sarah J.; Doherty, Paul F.; 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

  2. Contrasting movement strategies among juvenile albatrosses and petrels.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-18

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Contrasting movement strategies among juvenile albatrosses and petrels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-05-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Phylogeography of shy and white-capped albatrosses inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences: implications for population history and taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Abbott, Cathryn L; Double, Michael C

    2003-10-01

    The evolutionary relationship between shy (Thalassarche cauta) and white-capped (T. steadi) albatrosses was examined using mitochondrial control region sequences. Results were interpreted in the context of a recent and contentious taxonomic revision that recommended full species status for shy and white-capped albatrosses. Low sequence divergence between shy and white-capped albatrosses (1.8%) and between their close relatives, Salvin's and Chatham albatrosses (2.9%), was observed. Much higher sequence divergence was found between the shy/white-capped pair and the Salvin's/Chatham pair (7.0%). Phylogenetic analyses confirmed the separation of the shy/white-capped pair from the Salvin's/Chatham pair but did not provide species-level resolution. Phylogeographic analyses, including a nested clade analysis, FST estimates and an analysis of molecular variance, indicated unambiguous genetic structuring between shy and white-capped albatrosses, thus confirming the demographic isolation of the species, but showed little to no structuring within each species. The geographical distribution of mtDNA haplotypes and other evidence suggest that shy albatrosses arose through range expansion by white-capped albatrosses.

  8. Global relationships amongst black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses: analysis of population structure using mitochondrial DNA and microsatellites.

    PubMed

    Burg, T M; Croxall, J P

    2001-11-01

    The population structure of black-browed (Thalassarche melanophris and T. impavida) and grey-headed (T. chrysostoma) albatrosses was examined using both mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and microsatellite analyses. mtDNA sequences from 73 black-browed and 50 grey-headed albatrosses were obtained from five island groups in the Southern Ocean. High levels of sequence divergence were found in both taxa (0.55-7.20% in black-browed albatrosses and 2.10-3.90% in grey-headed albatrosses). Black-browed albatrosses form three distinct groups: Falklands, Diego Ramirez/South Georgia/Kerguelen, and Campbell Island (T. impavida). T. melanophris from Campbell Island contain birds from each of the three groups, indicating high levels of mixture and hybridization. In contrast, grey-headed albatrosses form one globally panmictic population. Microsatellite analyses on a larger number of samples using seven highly variable markers found similar population structure to the mtDNA analyses in both black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses. Differences in population structure between these two very similar and closely related species could be the result of differences in foraging and dispersal patterns. Breeding black-browed albatrosses forage mainly over continental shelves and migrate to similar areas when not breeding. Grey-headed albatrosses forage mainly at frontal systems, travelling widely across oceanic habitats outside the breeding season. Genetic analyses support the current classification of T. impavida as being distinct from T. melanophris, but would also suggest splitting T. melanophris into two groups: Falkland Islands, and Diego Ramirez/South Georgia/Kerguelen.

  9. 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.

  10. The role of prolactin during incubation: comparative studies of three Diomedea albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Hector, J A; Goldsmith, A R

    1985-11-01

    There is much recent evidence that prolactin is an important influence on parental and incubatory behaviour in birds. In this study prolactin was measured at various stages of the breeding cycle in three closely related albatrosses (the wandering albatross Diomedea exulans, the grey-headed albatross D. chrysostoma, and the black-browed albatross D. melanophris). Each species is monogamous, laying one egg, with the sexes sharing parental duties, including lengthy incubation shifts. In experiments where blood samples were taken daily throughout single incubation shifts (of both sexes) and every 3 hr for 36 hr, high prolactin levels were observed, but there was no indication of any changes that might suggest direct relationships between the hormone concentrations and incubatory behaviour. However, high prolactin levels were characteristic of the whole incubation period with a significant decline in concentrations towards the end of the brood-guard period. The timing of the decline in prolactin levels remained constant, even when the incubation period was artificially lengthened or shortened, as did the overall duration of the incubation-brood-guard period. Further experiments eliminated the possibility that the secretion of prolactin was a response to tactile stimulation of the brood patch by the egg. These results suggest that the incubation period is not endogenously timed but that prolactin may still affect the overall duration of the incubation-brood-guard period, although having little or no effect on the number or duration of incubation shifts.

  11. Biomarkers, PCBs, DDT, DDE, and plastic pollution in albatross of the north Pacific Ocean

    SciTech Connect

    Auman, H.J.; Giesy, J.P.; Ludwig, J.P.; Summer, C.L.; Verbrugge, D.A.

    1994-12-31

    The impacts of pollution in a remote area of the Pacific Ocean on seabirds were assessed. The amount and effects of accidentally ingested plastic on survival of Laysan albatross chicks were determined. Concentrations of synthetic organochlorine compounds and biomarkers of exposure to several classes of those compounds were measured in plasma of adults and chicks of both Laysan and Black-footed albatross of Sand Island, Midway Atoll. Concentrations of PCBs, DDT, DDE, and other chlorinated insecticides were measured in plasma and egg. Average, total PCB concentrations in the plasma of ten adult Laysan and five Black-footed albatross were 39 and 115 ng/g, respectively; DDE concentrations were 10.8 and 37.2 ng/mg respectively. Total pooled concentrations of PCBs in egg yolk of Laysan or Black-footed albatross were 1.06 or 3.84 {micro}g/g, respectively; DDE concentrations were 321.5 or 1,836.6 ng/g, respectively. Data will be presented on differences between chicks and adults, between species, and among sampling times throughout the nesting season. Serum retinol, T3 and T4 concentrations were quantified and correlated to concentrations of total PCBs, DDT, DDE, and other insecticides in the blood.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Converse, Sarah J.; Kendall, William L.; Doherty, Paul F.; Ryan, Peter 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.

  13. After Action Report: Black Sea Initiative Table Top Exercise Albatross 2007 Batumi, Georgia, 12-15 February 2007

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-08-01

    from manufacturers and Poison Control Centers. Example: How to find the ICSC for Dimethylhydrazine 1 . acquire ICSC website click on http...GEORGIA 12–15 FEBRUARY 2007 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..................................................................................... 1 A. Introduction and...Background ................................................................. 1 B. Albatross TTX

  14. 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.).

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Unexpected hydrogen isotope variation in oceanic pelagic seabirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  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.

  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. 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.

  8. Vultures of the Seas: Hyperacidic Stomachs in Wandering Albatrosses as an Adaptation to Dispersed Food Resources, including Fishery Wastes

    PubMed Central

    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. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-03-02

    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.

  13. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-08-01

    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 fromthe midwestern United States ranged from 13 to 2,220 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 (1,780 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.

  15. 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.

  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

    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.

  18. 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

  19. Respective impact of climate and fisheries on the growth of an albatross population.

    PubMed

    Rolland, V; Nevoux, M; Barbraud, C; Weimerskirch, H

    2009-07-01

    Climate and human activities such as fisheries impact many animal species. However, the demographic processes through which the population vital rates are affected, and the sensitivity of their growth rates, are poorly understood. The Black-browed Albatross, Thalassarche melanophrys, is a long-lived threatened seabird species. Previous studies have shown that the adult survival and breeding success of the population breeding at Kerguelen are affected by sea surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) during both the breeding and the nonbreeding season, and by tuna long-lining in Tasmanian waters through bycatch mortality. Here, using long-term demographic data from a Black-browed Albatross colony monitored for 26 years at Kerguelen, we estimate all demographic parameters from early to adult stages of the life cycle in order to build a fully parameterized population model and predict population growth rates under several scenarios of climate and fishing effort. The observed population growth rate (1.003) indicates that the population was stable or slightly increasing, and our population model gives a close estimate of 1.008. Population growth rate is more sensitive to survival of experienced breeders and accordingly to a change in SSTA during incubation and to tuna long-lining effort (both affecting survival of experienced breeders) than to other demographic parameters/environmental covariates. The population stability results from multiple factors and complex relationships between demographic parameters and environmental conditions, and therefore population equilibrium is precarious. If fishing effort remains stable at its current level and positive SSTA increase, or inversely if fishing effort decreases and SSTA remain similar to present values, then the population would increase. However, if fishing effort increases by 20% (i.e., to 40 million hooks) on the wintering grounds, without any change in SSTA, then the population would decrease at 0.9% per year. If fishing

  20. Heart rate and energy expenditure of incubating wandering albatrosses: basal levels, natural variation, and the effects of human disturbance.

    PubMed

    Weimerskirch, Henri; Shaffer, Scott A; Mabille, Geraldine; Martin, Julien; Boutard, Olivier; Rouanet, Jean Louis

    2002-02-01

    We studied the changes in heart rate (HR) associated with metabolic rate of incubating and resting adult wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans) on the Crozet Islands. Metabolic rates of resting albatrosses fitted with external HR recorders were measured in a metabolic chamber to calibrate the relationship between HR and oxygen consumption (V(O(2))) (V(O(2))=0.074 x HR+0.019, r(2)=0.567, P<0.001, where V(O(2)) is in ml kg(-1) min(-1) and HR is in beats min(-1)). Incubating albatrosses were then fitted with HR recorders to estimate energy expenditure of albatrosses within natural field conditions. We also examined the natural variation in HR and the effects of human disturbance on nesting birds by monitoring the changes in HR. Basal HR was positively related to the mass of the individual. The HR of incubating birds corresponded to a metabolic rate that was 1.5-fold (males) and 1.8-fold (females) lower than basal metabolic rate (BMR) measured in this and a previous study. The difference was probably attributable to birds being stressed while they were held in the metabolic chamber or wearing a mask. Thus, previous measurements of metabolic rate under basal conditions or for incubating wandering albatrosses are likely to be overestimates. Combining the relationship between HR and metabolic rate for both sexes, we estimate that wandering albatrosses expend 147 kJ kg(-1) day(-1) to incubate their eggs. In addition, the cost of incubation was assumed to vary because (i) HR was higher during the day than at night, and (ii) there was an effect of wind chill (<0 degrees C) on basal HR. The presence of humans in the vicinity of the nest or after a band control was shown to increase HR for extended periods (2-3 h), suggesting that energy expenditure was increased as a result of the disturbance. Lastly, males and females reacted differently to handling in terms of HR response: males reacted more strongly than females before handling, whereas females took longer to recover

  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. Comparison of methods for evaluating energy expenditure of incubating wandering albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Shaffer, S A; Costa, D P; Weimerskirch, H

    2001-01-01

    Measurements of incubation energetics can vary depending on the method used to measure metabolism of an incubating bird. Therefore, we evaluated the energy expenditure of six male and four female wandering albatrosses (Diomedea exulans Linnaeus) using doubly labeled water (DLW), the rate of mass loss, and estimates of metabolic water production derived from water influx rate (WIR). Incubation metabolic rates (IMR) determined with DLW (169+/-21 kJ x kg(-1) x d(-1) SD) were significantly lower than estimates derived from mass loss (277+/-46 kJ x kg(-1) x d(-1) SD) and WIR (males=289+/-60 kJ x kg(-1) x d(-1) vs. females=400+/-69 kJ x kg(-1) x d(-1) SD). Estimates of IMR from mass loss and WIR were similar to IMR (305+/-39 kJ x kg(-1) x d(-1) SD) determined by respirometry in a previous study, and IMR from DLW was similar to estimates based on heart rate (HR; 147+/-26 kJ x kg(-1) x d(-1) SD) determined in another study. Applying the different measurements of IMR to construct an energy budget, we estimate that a breeding pair of wandering albatrosses spends 124-234 MJ to incubate the egg for 78 d. Finally, IMRs determined with DLW and HR were similar to estimated basal metabolic rates derived from six different allometric equations, suggesting that heat production from adult maintenance metabolism is sufficient to incubate the egg.

  3. 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.

  4. Settling the name Diomedea exulans Linnaeus, 1758 for the Wandering Albatross by neotypification.

    PubMed

    Schodde, Richard; Tennyson, Alan J D; Groth, Jeff G; Lai, Jonas; Scofield, Paul; Steinheimer, Frank D

    2017-02-21

    On-going conflict in use of the name Diomedea exulans Linnaeus, 1758 for different taxa of the great albatrosses (Wandering Albatross complex) is resolved by neotypification, fixing the name to the large subantarctic form formerly often known as D. chionoptera Salvin, 1896. Application of all scientific names in the complex is reviewed, an annotated synonymy for the large subantarctic form is provided, available names for smaller, temperate-zone forms are listed, and unavailable and otherwise invalid names referable to the complex are identified. Syntypes of D. chionoptera and D. spadicea J.F. Gmelin, 1789 are lectotypified as well, fixing their names as synonyms of D. exulans to prevent possible disturbance to in-use names for the smaller, temperate-zone forms.

  5. 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.

  6. Dioxins and related compounds in albatrosses from the Torishima Island, Japan: accumulation features by growth stage and toxicological implications.

    PubMed

    Kunisue, Tatsuya; Nakanishi, Shigeyuki; Oka, Nariko; Sato, Fumio; Tsurumi, Miyako; Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2006-11-15

    Concentrations of dioxins and related compounds (DRCs), such as polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs), and coplanar polychlorinated biphenyls (Co-PCBs), were determined in eggs, nestlings, and adults of black-footed albatross (BfA; Diomedea nigripes) and short-tailed albatross (StA; Diomedea albatrus) collected from the Torishima Island in Japan during 2002, which is one of their breeding grounds. Observed DRC concentrations, especially PCDFs and non-ortho Co-PCBs, in eggs of BfA and StA were relatively higher than those in other oceanic, coastal, and inland wild birds reported recently and were comparable to those in a pooled BfA egg from Midway Atoll in 1993, implying continuous input of these contaminants into open ocean and possible albatross-specific exposure. Concentrations of PCDDs except 12378-P5CDD and high-chlorinated PCDFs in 3-month-old BfA nestling were lowerthan those in 1-month-old nestling, indicating their developmental dilution. On the other hand, higher levels of T4-H6CDFs and Co-PCBs, especially low-chlorinated congeners such as 2378-T4CDF and T4CB77, were found in 3-month-old BfA nestling, suggesting specific exposure to these contaminants, possibly due to their higher transportability than high-chlorinated congeners. Estimated biomagnification factors of almost all the congeners in adults were apparently greater than those in nestlings, except 2378-T4CDF, T4CB77, and H7-O8-CDD/Fs. This could be due to preferential metabolism of 2378-T4CDF and T4CB77 and lower uptake efficiency of high-chlorinated congeners through the gastrointestinal tract in adults. Toxic equivalents in BfA and StA eggs estimated using WHO-avian toxic equivalency factors exceeded some toxicity thresholds for avian embryos, indicating possible adverse effects of DRCs to albatross embryos.

  7. 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

  8. 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).

  9. 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.

  10. An unusual source of apparent mitochondrial heteroplasmy: duplicate mitochondrial control regions in Thalassarche albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Abbott, Cathryn L; Double, Michael C; Trueman, John W H; Robinson, Anna; Cockburn, Andrew

    2005-10-01

    Molecular ecologists, in search of suitable molecular markers, frequently PCR-amplify regions of mitochondrial DNA from total DNA extracts. This approach, although common, is prone to the co-amplification of nuclear copies of transposed DNA sequences (numts), which can then generate apparent mitochondrial sequence heteroplasmy. In this study we describe the discovery of apparent mitochondrial sequence heteroplasmy in Thalassarche albatrosses but eliminate the possibility of true sequence heteroplasmy and numts and instead reveal the source of the apparent heteroplasmy to be a duplicated control region. The two control regions align easily but are not identical in sequence or in length. Comparisons of functionally significant conserved sequence blocks do not provide evidence of degeneration in either duplicate. Phylogenetic analyses of domain I of both control region copies in five Thalassarche species indicate that they are largely evolving in concert; however, a short section within them is clearly evolving independently. To our knowledge this is the first time contrasting evolutionary patterns have been reported for duplicate control regions. Available evidence suggests that this duplication may be taxonomically widespread, so the results presented here should be considered in future evolutionary studies targeting the control region of all Procellariiformes and potentially other closely related avian groups.

  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. 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.

  13. 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

    2010-08-31

    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.

  14. Seabird Bycatch in Pelagic Longline Fisheries Is Grossly Underestimated when Using Only Haul Data

    PubMed Central

    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

  15. THE USE OF HEART RATE TO ESTIMATE OXYGEN CONSUMPTION OF FREE-RANGING BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSSES DIOMEDEA MELANOPHRYS

    PubMed

    Bevan; Woakes; Butler; Boyd

    1994-08-01

    Heart rates (fh) and rates of oxygen consumption (V(dot)O2) were measured in eight black-browed albatrosses (Diomedea melanophrys) when walking on a treadmill, with the aim of using fh to predict V(dot)O2 in free-ranging albatrosses. The resulting relationship between the variables was: V(dot)O2 (ml min-1) = [0.0157fh (beats min-1)]1.60, r2=0.80, P<0.001. In addition to the calibration procedure, six of the albatrosses were injected with doubly labelled water (DLW), and fh and V(dot)O2 were monitored continuously over a 3 day period while the birds were held in a respirometer. During the 3 day period, the birds were walked for up to 3­4 h day-1 in bouts lasting approximately 0.5 h. The heart rate data were used to estimate the metabolic rates of these birds using the above regression. Estimates of metabolic rate derived from fh, DLW and respirometry did not differ (ANOVA; P=0.94), primarily because of the variance between individual birds. There was also no significant difference between the different estimates obtained from the different equations used to calculate energy expenditure from the DLW technique (ANOVA; P=0.95). Mean estimates of V(dot)O2 from fh under active and inactive conditions differed from measured values of V(dot)O2 by -5.9 % and -1.7 % respectively. In addition, the estimates of V(dot)O2 from fh at different walking speeds did not differ significantly from the measured values. It appears that, in the black-browed albatross, fh is as good a predictor of the mean metabolic rate of free-ranging birds as DLW or time­energy budgets combined with either respirometry or DLW. However, the method should be applied to as many individuals and as many instances of a particular behaviour as possible. The heart rate technique offers potential for much more detailed analyses of the daily energy budgets of these birds, and over much longer periods, than has previously been possible.

  16. Anatomy and histochemistry of spread-wing posture in birds. 3. Immunohistochemistry of flight muscles and the "shoulder lock" in albatrosses.

    PubMed

    Meyers, Ron A; Stakebake, Eric F

    2005-01-01

    As a postural behavior, gliding and soaring flight in birds requires less energy than flapping flight. Slow tonic and slow twitch muscle fibers are specialized for sustained contraction with high fatigue resistance and are typically found in muscles associated with posture. Albatrosses are the elite of avian gliders; as such, we wanted to learn how their musculoskeletal system enables them to maintain spread-wing posture for prolonged gliding bouts. We used dissection and immunohistochemistry to evaluate muscle function for gliding flight in Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses. Albatrosses possess a locking mechanism at the shoulder composed of a tendinous sheet that extends from origin to insertion throughout the length of the deep layer of the pectoralis muscle. This fascial "strut" passively maintains horizontal wing orientation during gliding and soaring flight. A number of muscles, which likely facilitate gliding posture, are composed exclusively of slow fibers. These include Mm. coracobrachialis cranialis, extensor metacarpi radialis dorsalis, and deep pectoralis. In addition, a number of other muscles, including triceps scapularis, triceps humeralis, supracoracoideus, and extensor metacarpi radialis ventralis, were found to have populations of slow fibers. We believe that this extensive suite of uniformly slow muscles is associated with sustained gliding and is unique to birds that glide and soar for extended periods. These findings suggest that albatrosses utilize a combination of slow muscle fibers and a rigid limiting tendon for maintaining a prolonged, gliding posture.

  17. Senescence effects in an extremely long-lived bird: the grey-headed albatross Thalassarche chrysostoma

    PubMed Central

    Catry, Paulo; Phillips, Richard A; Phalan, Ben; Croxall, John P

    2006-01-01

    Studies attempting to document reproductive or other pre-lethal senescence effects in wild birds typically face an array of problems, including flaws in statistical analyses, non-adaptive philopatry to deteriorating environments, confounding effects arising from cohort heterogeneity and differential death rates of phenotypes and the frequent pairing of old birds to younger mates. Furthermore, recent studies suggest that birds could maintain a high level of physical fitness until old age, before being struck by a catastrophic illness leading quickly to their demise. The presence of terminally ill individuals in most datasets (and their greater incidence in older age categories) may therefore provide a false impression of progressive senescence in cross-sectional analyses. This study was designed explicitly to avoid all the known pitfalls linked to the demonstration of progressive senescence in wild populations, and involved one of the very longest-lived bird species. We show that, during incubation, old (aged 35 years and over) male grey-headed albatrosses Thalassarche chrysostoma make longer foraging trips, and have lower daily mass gains, than experienced mid-aged individuals (aged up to 28 years). This is, to our knowledge, the first report documenting reduced foraging performance with old age. Hatching and breeding success of pairs composed of two old individuals were reduced in comparison to mid-aged pairs. Overall results were very similar when analyses were repeated using only individuals known to have survived 1 or 2 years beyond field measurements (hence probably not suffering from the effects of an advanced terminal illness). We conclude that extremely long-lived individuals usually experience some degree of general physical deterioration, leading to reduced foraging and breeding performance, long before their final demise. PMID:16769633

  18. 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.

  19. 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

    2015-03-09

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Seasonal sexual segregation in two Thalassarche albatross species: competitive exclusion, reproductive role specialization or foraging niche divergence?

    PubMed Central

    Phillips, R. A.; Silk, J. R. D.; Phalan, B.; Catry, P.; Croxall, J. P.

    2004-01-01

    Sexual segregation by micro- or macrohabitat is common in birds, and usually attributed to size-mediated dominance and exclusion of females by larger males, trophic niche divergence or reproductive role specialization. Our study of black-browed albatrosses, Thalassarche melanophrys, and grey-headed albatrosses, T. chrysostoma, revealed an exceptional degree of sexual segregation during incubation, with largely mutually exclusive core foraging ranges for each sex in both species. Spatial segregation was not apparent during brood-guard or post-guard chick rearing, when adults are constrained to feed close to colonies, providing no evidence for dominance-related competitive exclusion at the macrohabitat level. A comprehensive morphometric comparison indicated considerable species and sexual dimorphism in wing area and wing loading that corresponded, both within and between species, to broad-scale habitat preferences relating to wind strength. We suggest that seasonal sexual segregation in these two species is attributable to niche divergence mediated by differences in flight performance. Such sexual segregation may also have implications for conservation in relation to sex-specific overlap with commercial fisheries. PMID:15306353

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

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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

  4. Will the effects of sea-level rise create ecological traps for Pacific Island seabirds?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Reynolds, Michelle H.; Courtot, Karen; Berkowitz, Paul; Storlazzi, Curt; 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-22

    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.

  8. At-sea distribution and scale-dependent foraging behaviour of petrels and albatrosses: a comparative study.

    PubMed

    Pinaud, David; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2007-01-01

    1. In order to study and predict population distribution, it is crucial to identify and understand factors affecting individual movement decisions at different scales. Movements of foraging animals should be adjusted to the hierarchical spatial distribution of resources in the environment and this scale-dependent response to environmental heterogeneity should differ according to the forager's characteristics and exploited habitats. 2. Using First-Passage Time analysis, we studied scales of search effort and habitat used by individuals of seven sympatric Indian Ocean Procellariiform species fitted with satellite transmitters. We characterized their search effort distribution and examined whether species differ in scale-dependent adjustments of their movements according to the marine environment exploited. 3. All species and almost all individuals (91% of 122 individuals) exhibited an Area-Restricted Search (ARS) during foraging. At a regional scale (1000s km), foraging ranges showed a large spatial overlap between species. At a smaller scale (100s km, at which an increase in search effort occurred), a segregation in environmental characteristics of ARS zones (where search effort is high) was found between species. 4. Spatial scales at which individuals increased their search effort differed between species and also between exploited habitats, indicating a similar movement adjustment for predators foraging in the same habitat. ARS zones of the two populations of wandering albatross Diomedea exulans (Crozet and Kerguelen) were similar in their adjustments (i.e. same ARS scale) as well as in their environmental characteristics. These two populations showed a weak spatial overlap in their foraging distribution, with males foraging in more southerly waters than females in both populations. 5. This study demonstrates that predators of several species adjust their foraging behaviour to the heterogeneous environment and these scale-dependent movement adjustments depend on

  9. 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.

  10. Habitat-mediated population limitation in a colonial central-place forager: the sky is not the limit for the black-browed albatross

    PubMed Central

    Wakefield, Ewan D.; Phillips, Richard A.; Matthiopoulos, Jason

    2014-01-01

    Animal populations are frequently limited by the availability of food or of habitat. In central-place foragers, the cost of accessing these resources is distance-dependent rather than uniform in space. However, in seabirds, a widely studied exemplar of this paradigm, empirical population models have hitherto ignored this cost. In part, this is because non-independence among colonies makes it difficult to define population units. Here, we model the effects of both resource availability and accessibility on populations of a wide-ranging, pelagic seabird, the black-browed albatross Thalassarche melanophris. Adopting a multi-scale approach, we define regional populations objectively as spatial clusters of colonies. We consider two readily quantifiable proxies of resource availability: the extent of neritic waters (the preferred foraging habitat) and net primary production (NPP). We show that the size of regional albatross populations has a strong dependence, after weighting for accessibility, on habitat availability and to a lesser extent, NPP. Our results provide indirect support for the hypothesis that seabird populations are regulated from the bottom-up by food availability during the breeding season, and also suggest that the spatio-temporal predictability of food may be limiting. Moreover, we demonstrate a straightforward, widely applicable method for estimating resource limitation in populations of central-place foragers. PMID:24430849

  11. Use of Electronic Tag Data and Associated Analytical Tools to Identify and Predict Habitat Utilization of Marine Mammals

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-09-30

    footed albatrosses (genus Phoebastria), tagged at the same breeding colony in the northwestern Hawaiian Islands , showed distinct geographic and...Oxygen stores plasticity linked to foraging behaviour and pregnancy in a diving predator, the Galapagos sea lion. Functional Ecology 24, 785–795

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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.; Naughton, M.B.; Hines, J.E.; Thomson, David L.; Cooch, Evan G.; Conroy, Michael J.

    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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.; 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

  1. The Comanche and the Albatross: About Our Neck Was Hung

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-06-01

    squadrons will be an in-place upgrade of Block 40 squadrons while the F-15G Strike Weasels are added to the force to replace the long-lost F-4G/EF-111A...combined Weasel /Jammer capability in the F-15G. The F-35s already purchased are retained, and advanced capabilities will be available to satisfy... Weasel and, later, the F-15E, he has amassed 156 combat missions over 10 combat deployments. An irregular warfare operations officer, Colonel Pietrucha

  2. Trace metals, stable isotope ratios, and trophic relations in seabirds from the North Pacific Ocean.

    PubMed

    Elliott, John E

    2005-12-01

    Trace elements including mercury, cadmium, selenium, and stable nitrogen isotope ratios (sigma15N) were measured in tissues of Pacific seabirds. Two species of albatross (Diomedea immutabilis, Diomedea nigripes), four species of shearwaters (Puffinus bulleri, Puffinus carneipes, Puffinus griseus, Puffinus tenuirostris), northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), and horned puffin (Fratercula corniculata) were collected opportunistically by an experimental fishery in the North Pacific Ocean. Two species each of petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa, Oceanodroma furcata) and auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus, Cerorhinca monocerata) were collected at breeding colonies on the north coast of British Columbia, Canada. Concentrations of toxic trace metals varied considerably among the pelagic nonbreeders; highest concentrations consistently were in D. nigripes (e.g., Hg), 70-fold greater than F. corniculata (e.g., Cd), eightfold greater than P. tenuirostris (e.g., Se), and fourfold greater than F. corniculata. Most essential trace elements varied little among species, consistent with physiological regulation. Values for sigma15N correlated positively with hepatic Se (r = 0.771, p = 0.025) and negatively with Co (r = 0.817, p = 0.013). Among the four breeding species, there were significant positive associations for sigma15N in muscle and hepatic Se (r = 0.822, p = 0.002), Hg (r = 0.744, p = 0.0001), and Cd (r = 0.589, p = 0.003). Differences in time scales integrated by sigma15N versus trace metals in tissues probably reduced the apparent associations between trace-metal exposure and diet.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. The 1973 Arab-Israeli War: The Albatross of Decisive Victory (Leavenworth Papers, Number 21)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1996-01-01

    the former chief of the General Staff, Yitzak Rabin (of 1967 fame), Elazar arrived at Gonen ’s forward command post at Gebel Umm Hashiba at 1845. The...After the conference at Gebel Umm Hashiba, Adan hurried back to his division, which was deployed along the Baluza-Tasa road. (See map 3.) The unit...on 9 October, he and Dayan met with senior field commanders at Gebel Umm Hashiba to assess the military situation. Now, a modicum of realism and

  6. 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…

  7. Chasing the Albatross: Gendering Theory and Reading with Dual-Voiced Journals

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Styslinger, Mary E.

    2004-01-01

    Theory has always possessed an elusive, intangible, and almost ethereal quality. Comprising nothing but ideas compressed into words, it is supposed to guide literacy interactions and transactions. Theory provides the "why" that underlies the "how to" of teaching. Yet the author, a teacher, has often struggled with the effort of translating theory…

  8. 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.

  9. Modeling Nonresident Seabird Foraging Distributions to Inform Ocean Zoning in Central California

    PubMed Central

    Hines, Ellen; Elliott, Meredith L.; Howar, Julie; Holzman, Barbara; Nur, Nadav; Jahncke, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Seabird aggregations at sea have been shown to be associated with concentrations of prey. Previous research identified Central California as a highly used foraging area for seabirds, with locally breeding seabirds foraging close to their colonies on Southeast Farallon Island. Herein, we focus on nonresident (i.e. non-locally breeding) seabird species off of Central California. We hypothesized that high-use foraging areas for nonresident seabirds would be influenced by oceanographic and bathymetric factors and that spatial and temporal distributions would be similar within planktivorous and generalist foraging guilds but would differ between them. With data collected by the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS) partnership during cruises between April and October from 2004–2013, we developed generalized linear models to identify high-use foraging areas for each of six nonresident seabird species. The four generalist species are Phoebastria nigripes (black-footed albatross), Ardenna griseus (sooty shearwater), Ardenna creatopus (pink-footed shearwater), and Fulmarus glacialis (northern fulmar). The two planktivorous species are Phalaropus lobatus (red-necked phalarope) and Phalaropus fulicarius (red phalarope). Sea surface temperature was significant for generalist species and sea surface salinity was important for planktivorous species. The distance to the 200-m isobath was significant in five of six models, Pacific Decadal Oscillation with a 3-month lag in four models, and sea surface fluorescence, the distance to Cordell Bank, and depth in three models. We did not find statistically significant differences between distributions of individual seabird species within a foraging guild or between guilds, with the exception of the sooty shearwater. Model results for a multi-use seabird foraging area highlighted the continental shelf break, particularly within the vicinity of Cordell Bank, as the highest use areas as did Marxan prioritization. Our

  10. Modeling Nonresident Seabird Foraging Distributions to Inform Ocean Zoning in Central California.

    PubMed

    Studwell, Anna J; Hines, Ellen; Elliott, Meredith L; Howar, Julie; Holzman, Barbara; Nur, Nadav; Jahncke, Jaime

    2017-01-01

    Seabird aggregations at sea have been shown to be associated with concentrations of prey. Previous research identified Central California as a highly used foraging area for seabirds, with locally breeding seabirds foraging close to their colonies on Southeast Farallon Island. Herein, we focus on nonresident (i.e. non-locally breeding) seabird species off of Central California. We hypothesized that high-use foraging areas for nonresident seabirds would be influenced by oceanographic and bathymetric factors and that spatial and temporal distributions would be similar within planktivorous and generalist foraging guilds but would differ between them. With data collected by the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies (ACCESS) partnership during cruises between April and October from 2004-2013, we developed generalized linear models to identify high-use foraging areas for each of six nonresident seabird species. The four generalist species are Phoebastria nigripes (black-footed albatross), Ardenna griseus (sooty shearwater), Ardenna creatopus (pink-footed shearwater), and Fulmarus glacialis (northern fulmar). The two planktivorous species are Phalaropus lobatus (red-necked phalarope) and Phalaropus fulicarius (red phalarope). Sea surface temperature was significant for generalist species and sea surface salinity was important for planktivorous species. The distance to the 200-m isobath was significant in five of six models, Pacific Decadal Oscillation with a 3-month lag in four models, and sea surface fluorescence, the distance to Cordell Bank, and depth in three models. We did not find statistically significant differences between distributions of individual seabird species within a foraging guild or between guilds, with the exception of the sooty shearwater. Model results for a multi-use seabird foraging area highlighted the continental shelf break, particularly within the vicinity of Cordell Bank, as the highest use areas as did Marxan prioritization. Our

  11. 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...

  12. 76 FR 57715 - Proposed Information Collection; Comment Request; Fisheries in the Western Pacific; Proposed...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-09-16

    ... the event an endangered short-tailed albatross is hooked or entangled during fishing operations... 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Hybrid Threat Concept: Contemporary War, Military Planning and the Advent of Unrestricted Operational Art

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-05-19

    Albatross ?…………………………...44 Exploitation of Ambiguity……..........…………………………………………………...47 U.S. Operational and Strategic Planning Constructs...Warfare (IW): Umbrella Term or Conceptual Albatross ? Irregular warfare presents a competing explanation of the non-linear threat activities that

  19. Understanding Apex Predator and Pelagic Fish Habitat Utilization in the California Current System by Integrating Animal Tracking with in situ Oceanographic Observations

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-01-01

    environments: North Pacific Transition Zone: Albatrosses breeding sympatrically in the northwest Hawaiian Islands forage extensively within the NPTZ...density distributions of Laysan (blue) and Black-footed (red) albatross tagged on Tern Island . 5 Mesoscale Eddies: Several years of vertical...predator, the Galapagos sea lion. Mar. Eco. Prog. Ser. 363: 299–309. Wells, B. K., Field, J. C., Thayer, J. A., Grimes, C. B., Bograd, S. J., Sydeman, W. J

  20. Concentration and toxic potential of polychlorinated biphenyl congeners in migratory oceanic birds from the North Pacific and the Southern Ocean.

    PubMed

    Guruge, K S; Tanaka, H; Tanabe, S

    2001-09-01

    Concentrations of PCBs and their toxic potential were examined in subcutaneous fat of eight albatross and one petrel species collected from the North Pacific and the Southern Oceans. Among all the species analyzed, high PCB levels were found in adult male blackfooted albatross from the North Pacific with the mean value of 92 microg/g wet weight. No significant gender difference in PCB accumulation was observed (P>0.1). The mean PCB levels in Southern Oceanic birds were 1 or 2 orders of magnitude lower than those from the North Pacific albatrosses. A regional-specific accumulation of non-ortho coplanar congeners were observed, most birds from the Southern Ocean had higher IUPAC 169 levels while IUPAC 126 concentrations were higher in those from the North Pacific. The estimated toxic equivalents for black-footed and Laysan albatrosses from the North Pacific were in the same range of some fish-eating birds, which were highly contaminated by PCBs. The correlation between ratio of IUPAC 169/126 concentration and total PCBs concentration indicated the possibility of induction in cytochrome P450 activities in North Pacific albatrosses (P<0.01). The calculated hazard indices indicated that black-footed and Laysan albatrosses inhabiting in the North Pacific had similar threshold levels which were known to cause toxic effects in some populations of fish-eating birds.

  1. Phylogeny of "Philoceanus complex" seabird lice (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Page, Roderic D M; Cruickshank, Robert H; Dickens, Megan; Furness, Robert W; Kennedy, Martyn; Palma, Ricardo L; Smith, Vincent S

    2004-03-01

    The Philoceanus complex is a large assemblage of lice that parasitise procellariiform seabirds (petrels, albatrosses, and their relatives). We obtained mitochondrial 12S rRNA and cytochrome oxidase I DNA sequences from 39 species from diverse hosts and localities. Resolution of deeper relationships between genera was limited, however there is evidence for two major clades, one hosted by albatrosses, the other by petrels. Based on our results, the genera hosted by albatrosses are excellent candidates for detailed analysis of cospeciation. Our results also suggest that a previous estimate of a 5-fold difference in the relative rate of sequence evolution in lice and their avian hosts is an artefact of limited taxonomic sampling.

  2. Incidental catch of marine birds in high seas driftnets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    1992-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-08

    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.

  5. 45 CFR 670.20 - Designation of native birds.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2011-10-01 2011-10-01 false Designation of native birds. 670.20 Section 670.20... CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.20 Designation of native birds. The following are designated native birds: Albatross...

  6. 45 CFR 670.20 - Designation of native birds.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2012-10-01 2012-10-01 false Designation of native birds. 670.20 Section 670.20... CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.20 Designation of native birds. The following are designated native birds: Albatross...

  7. 45 CFR 670.20 - Designation of native birds.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2014-10-01 2014-10-01 false Designation of native birds. 670.20 Section 670.20... CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.20 Designation of native birds. The following are designated native birds: Albatross...

  8. 45 CFR 670.20 - Designation of native birds.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2010-10-01 2010-10-01 false Designation of native birds. 670.20 Section 670.20... CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.20 Designation of native birds. The following are designated native birds: Albatross...

  9. 45 CFR 670.20 - Designation of native birds.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-10-01

    ... 45 Public Welfare 3 2013-10-01 2013-10-01 false Designation of native birds. 670.20 Section 670.20... CONSERVATION OF ANTARCTIC ANIMALS AND PLANTS Native Mammals, Birds, Plants, and Invertebrates § 670.20 Designation of native birds. The following are designated native birds: Albatross...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Bio-inspired energy-harvesting mechanisms and patterns of dynamic soaring.

    PubMed

    Liu, Duo-Neng; Hou, Zhong-Xi; Guo, Zheng; Yang, Xi-Xiang; Gao, Xian-Zhong

    2017-01-30

    Albatrosses can make use of the dynamic soaring technique extracting energy from the wind field to achieve large-scale movement without a flap, which stimulates interest in effortless flight with small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). However, mechanisms of energy harvesting in terms of the energy transfer from the wind to the flyer (albatross or UAV) are still indeterminate and controversial when using different reference frames in previous studies. In this paper, the classical four-phase Rayleigh cycle, includes sequentially upwind climb, downwind turn, downwind dive and upwind turn, is introduced in analyses of energy gain with the albatross's equation of motions and the simulated trajectory in dynamic soaring. Analytical and numerical results indicate that the energy gain in the air-relative frame mostly originates from large wind gradients at lower part of the climb and dive, while the energy gain in the inertial frame comes from the lift vector inclined to the wind speed direction during the climb, dive and downwind turn at higher altitude. These two energy-gain mechanisms are not equivalent in terms of energy sources and reference frames but have to be simultaneously satisfied in terms of the energy-neutral dynamic soaring cycle. For each reference frame, energy-loss phases are necessary to connect energy-gain ones. Based on these four essential phases in dynamic soaring and the albatrosses' flight trajectory, different dynamic soaring patterns are schematically depicted and corresponding optimal trajectories are computed. The optimal dynamic soaring trajectories are classified into two closed patterns including 'O' shape and '8' shape, and four travelling patterns including 'Ω' shape, 'α' shape, 'C' shape and 'S' shape. The correlation among these patterns are analysed and discussed. The completeness of the classification for different patterns is confirmed by listing and summarising dynamic soaring trajectories shown in studies over the past decades.

  18. 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.

  19. A Limited Evaluation of Full Scale Control Surface Deflection Drag (Have FUN)

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-06-01

    lifted off from ornithology, the study of birds . Otto Lilienthal, the seminal ornithologist-aviator, wrote of the practical application of his studies...pilots have transcribed Mr. Lilienthal’s prescient remarks to the 21st Century as they look once again toward experimental application of bird models in...an attempt to gain a greater understanding of soaring techniques. For example, the albatross, a bird native to the South Pacific, uses wind

  20. Improving Access to and Use of Ocean Observations from Animal Borne Sensors

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-30

    including elephant seals, bluefin tunas, yellowfin tunas, white sharks , whales , leatherback turtles, squid, albatross and sooty shearwaters (Block et...physical oceanographic data collected from elephant seals and sharks for use by an ocean modeling customer. 2. Evaluate means to meet customer...of modest customer “requirements” for exposing physical oceanographic measurements from elephant seal and shark tags to ocean modelers who will use

  1. Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Light Streamer Tori-Lines and Characteristics of Bait Attacks by Seabirds in the Western North Pacific

    PubMed Central

    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. Use of Electronic Tag Data and Associated Analytical Tools to Identify and Predict Habitat Utilization of Marine Predators

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2013-09-30

    leatherback turtles), or the eastern Pacific and Hawaiian Islands (white sharks, albacore tuna, and black-footed albatrosses). The mechanisms and cues...and the Hawaiian Islands . Shortfin makos were distributed throughout the CCLME and into the Subtropical Gyre, but occupied a thermal range...P. W. Robinson, D. P. Costa, and F. Trillmich. 2012. Age, body mass and environmental variation shape the foraging ontogeny of Galapagos sea lions

  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.

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Petroleum geology of Kodiak Shelf, Alaska.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fisher, M.A.

    1980-01-01

    Organic geochemical data show that Cenozoic rocks on Kodiak Island, in Albatross basin, and under the continental slope generally contain less than 0.5 wt. % organic carbon. Moreover, kerogen from all rocks analyzed is predominantly (60 to 100%) herbaceous; woody and coaly kerogens are present in secondary (20 to 40%) amounts. Most strata in shelf basins are thermally immature, however. Eocene and Oligocene strata which probably floor the shelf basins, are mature on the basis of comparison with coeval strata onshore. Eocene and Oligocene rocks have poor reservoir properties; the best reservoirs are probably in U. Miocene or Pliocene and younger rocks.- from Author

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. Algae.

    PubMed

    Raven, John A; Giordano, Mario

    2014-07-07

    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.

  15. Reproductive success is driven by local site fidelity despite stronger specialisation by individuals for large-scale habitat preference.

    PubMed

    Patrick, Samantha Clare; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2017-01-24

    There is widespread evidence that within populations, specialists and generalists can coexist and this is particularly prevalent in marine ecosystems, where foraging specialisations are evident. While individuals may limit niche overlap by consistently foraging in specific areas, site fidelity may also emerge as an artefact of habitat choice, but both drivers and fitness consequences of site fidelity are poorly understood. Here, we examine an individual metric of site and habitat fidelity, using tracking data collected over 11 years for black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris). Fidelity was calculated as the similarity between pairs of foraging zones, quantifying measures for within and between years. Foraging areas were identified using area-restricted search, defined as periods during which birds decrease speed and increase turning. Our results demonstrate that birds were considerably more specialised in the habitat in which they forage than the exact location they use within years, and there was a similar pattern between years. However, despite this, it was site fidelity that explained reproductive success. Within a single year, females which were more faithful to a specific location had higher reproductive success than non-specialists, and between years there was a tendency for both sexes. Our results suggest that black-browed albatrosses are highly faithful in their foraging habitat but it is rather site fidelity that is more clearly associated with reproductive success.

  16. 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

  17. Enterococcus species diversity in fecal samples of wild marine species as determined by real-time PCR.

    PubMed

    Medeiros, Aline Weber; Blaese Amorim, Derek; Tavares, Maurício; de Moura, Tiane Martin; Franco, Ana Claudia; d'Azevedo, Pedro Alves; Frazzon, Jeverson; Frazzon, Ana Paula Guedes

    2017-02-01

    Analyses using culture-independent molecular techniques have improved our understanding of microbial composition. The aim of this work was to identify and quantify enterococci in fecal samples of wild marine species using real-time quantitative PCR. Seven Enterococcus species were examined in fecal DNA of South American fur seals (Arctocephalus australis), Subantarctic fur seals (Arctocephalus tropicalis), green turtles (Chelonia mydas), Magellanic penguins (Spheniscus magellanicus), snowy-crowned tern (Sterna trudeaui), white-backed stilt (Himantopus melanurus), white-chinned petrels (Procellaria aequinoctialis), red knot (Calidris canutus), and black-browed albatross (Thalassarche melanophris). All Enterococcus species evaluated were detected in all fecal samples of wild marine species, with a concentration ranging between 10(6) and 10(12) copies/ng of total DNA. Differences in the enterococci distribution were observed. Enterococcus faecalis and Enterococcus mundtii were most abundant in marine mammals. Enterococcus faecalis was frequent in green turtle, Magellanic penguin, snowy-crowned tern, red knot, and black-browed albatross. Enterococcus hirae and Enterococcus gallinarum showed elevated occurrence in white-backed stilt, and Enterococcus faecium in white-chinned petrel. This study showed highest diversity of enterococci in feces of wild marine species than currently available data, and reinforced the use of culture-independent analysis to help us to enhance our understanding of enterococci in gastrointestinal tracts of wild marine species.

  18. Contribution of synthetic and naturally occurring organobromine compounds to bromine mass in marine organisms.

    PubMed

    Wan, Yi; Jones, Paul D; Wiseman, Steve; Chang, Hong; Chorney, Dave; Kannan, Kurunthachalam; Zhang, Kun; Hu, Jian-Ying; Khim, Jong Seong; Tanabe, Shinsuke; Lam, Michael H W; Giesy, John P

    2010-08-15

    An extraction, separation, and purification method was developed for the identification and quantification of total bromine (TBr), extractable organobromine (EOBr), and five classes of identified EOBrs. Instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA) was utilized to quantify EOBr and TBr. The method was then applied to liver samples of tuna, albatross, and polar bear collected from remote marine locations. Polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), bromophenols (BRPs), hydroxylated (OH-) and methoxylated (MeO-) PBDEs were analyzed as identified EOBr. The majority of the bromine in these marine organisms was nonextractable or inorganic, with EOBr accounting for 10-28% of the TBr. Of the identified EOBr, in tuna and albatross, naturally occurring compounds, including MeO-PBDEs, OH-PBDEs, and BPRs, were prevalent. However, the identifiable EOBr in polar bears consisted primarily of synthetic compounds, including PBDEs and PBBs. Overall, 0.08-0.11% and 0.008-0.012% of EOBr and TBr, respectively, were identified. The proportion of EOBr that was identified in marine organisms was relatively small compared to the proportions for organofluorine and organochlorine compounds. This could be related to the great diversity of naturally occurring organobromine compounds in the environment. Naturally occurring brominated fatty acids were estimated to be the predominant compounds in the EOBr fraction.

  19. Molecules vs. morphology in avian evolution: the case of the "pelecaniform" birds.

    PubMed Central

    Hedges, S B; Sibley, C G

    1994-01-01

    The traditional avian Order Pelecaniformes is composed of birds with all four toes connected by a web. This "totipalmate" condition is found in ca. 66 living species: 8 pelicans (Pelecanus), 9 boobies and gannets (Sula, Papasula, Morus), ca. 37 cormorants (Phalacrocorax), 4 anhingas or darters (Anhinga), 5 frigatebirds (Fregata), and 3 tropicbirds (Phaethon). Several additional characters are shared by these genera, and their monophyly has been assumed since the beginning of modern zoological nomenclature. Most ornithologists classify these genera as an order, although tropicbirds have been viewed as related to terns, and frigatebirds as relatives of the petrels and albatrosses. DNA.DNA hybridization data indicated that the pelicans are most closely related to the Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex), a stork-like bird that lives in the swamps of central Africa; the boobies, gannets, cormorants, and anhingas form a closely related cluster; the tropicbirds are not closely related to the other taxa; and the frigatebirds are closest to the penguins, loons, petrels, shearwaters, and albatrosses (Procellarioidea). Most of these results are corroborated by DNA sequences of the 12S and 16S rRNA mitochondrial genes, and they provide another example of incongruence between classifications derived from morphological versus genetic traits. Images PMID:7937906

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Anatomy and histochemistry of spread-wing posture inbirds. 4. Eagles soar with fast, not slow muscle fibres.

    PubMed

    Meyers, Ron A; McFarland, Joshua C

    2016-07-01

    Slow fibers are typically characterized as functioning in avian postural behaviors such as soaring flight, and are described for a number of elite soarers such as vultures, pelicans and albatrosses. Golden Eagles and Bald Eagles also display soaring behavior and we examined their flight muscles for the presence of slow fibers. Surprisingly, eagles lack a deep layer to the pectoralis found in other soaring species. Additionally, the pectoralis as well as other shoulder muscles had few to no slow muscle fibers. The lack of functionally meaningful numbers of slow muscle fibers in eagle flight muscles indicates that they must rely on fast fibers for posture; these can function in that role due to their high aerobic capacity and also perhaps a "tuning" of muscle contraction frequency to function more efficiently at isometric contractions.

  5. 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

  6. Southern Ocean cephalopods.

    PubMed

    Collins, Martin A; Rodhouse, Paul G K

    2006-01-01

    The Southern Ocean cephalopod fauna is distinctive, with high levels of endemism in the squid and particularly in the octopodids. Loliginid squid, sepiids and sepiolids are absent from the Southern Ocean, and all the squid are oceanic pelagic species. The octopodids dominate the neritic cephalopod fauna, with high levels of diversity, probably associated with niche separation. In common with temperate cephalopods, Southern Ocean species appear to be semelparous, but growth rates are probably lower and longevity greater than temperate counterparts. Compared with equivalent temperate species, eggs are generally large and fecundity low, with putative long development times. Reproduction may be seasonal in the squid but is extended in the octopodids. Cephalopods play an important role in the ecology of the Southern Ocean, linking the abundant mesopelagic fish and crustaceans with higher predators such as albatross, seals and whales. To date Southern Ocean cephalopods have not been commercially exploited, but there is potential for exploitation of muscular species of the Family Ommastrephidae.

  7. How slow breeding can be selected in seabirds: testing Lack's hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Dobson, F. Stephen; Jouventin, Pierre

    2006-01-01

    The historical debate of the 1960s between group and individual selection hinged on how the slow breeding of seabirds could be explained. While this debate was settled by the ascendance of individual selection, championed by David Lack, explanations for slow breeding in seabirds remain to be tested. We examined the slowest breeding of these birds, the albatrosses and petrels (order Procellariiformes), using analyses that statistically controlled for variations in body size and phylogeny. Incubation and fledging periods appeared strongly correlated, but this turned out to be largely explained by phylogeny. Nonetheless, developmental and reproductive rates were associated with the distance to the foraging range, as predicted under the hypothesis of ecological constraints on breeding pairs, and these results were independent of body size and phylogeny. Slower breeding in these seabirds appeared associated with the rigors of farther pelagic feeding, as Lack originally hypothesized. PMID:17148257

  8. 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

  9. Do naive juvenile seabirds forage differently from adults?

    PubMed

    Riotte-Lambert, Louise; Weimerskirch, Henri

    2013-10-07

    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.

  10. Classification of Animal Movement Behavior through Residence in Space and Time

    PubMed Central

    Orben, Rachael A.; Tolkova, Irina; Thompson, David R.

    2017-01-01

    Identification and classification of behavior states in animal movement data can be complex, temporally biased, time-intensive, scale-dependent, and unstandardized across studies and taxa. Large movement datasets are increasingly common and there is a need for efficient methods of data exploration that adjust to the individual variability of each track. We present the Residence in Space and Time (RST) method to classify behavior patterns in movement data based on the concept that behavior states can be partitioned by the amount of space and time occupied in an area of constant scale. Using normalized values of Residence Time and Residence Distance within a constant search radius, RST is able to differentiate behavior patterns that are time-intensive (e.g., rest), time & distance-intensive (e.g., area restricted search), and transit (short time and distance). We use grey-headed albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma) GPS tracks to demonstrate RST’s ability to classify behavior patterns and adjust to the inherent scale and individuality of each track. Next, we evaluate RST’s ability to discriminate between behavior states relative to other classical movement metrics. We then temporally sub-sample albatross track data to illustrate RST’s response to less resolved data. Finally, we evaluate RST’s performance using datasets from four taxa with diverse ecology, functional scales, ecosystems, and data-types. We conclude that RST is a robust, rapid, and flexible method for detailed exploratory analysis and meta-analyses of behavioral states in animal movement data based on its ability to integrate distance and time measurements into one descriptive metric of behavior groupings. Given the increasing amount of animal movement data collected, it is timely and useful to implement a consistent metric of behavior classification to enable efficient and comparative analyses. Overall, the application of RST to objectively explore and compare behavior patterns in movement data

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Locomotory abilities and habitat of the Cretaceous bird Gansus yumenensis inferred from limb length proportions.

    PubMed

    Nudds, R L; Atterholt, J; Wang, X; You, H-L; Dyke, G J

    2013-01-01

    The relative length proportions of the three bony elements of the pelvic (femur, tibiotarsus and tarsometatarsus) and pectoral (humerus, ulna and manus) limbs of the early Cretaceous bird Gansus yumenensis, a well-represented basal ornithuromorph from China, are investigated and compared to those of extant taxa. Ternary plots show that the pectoral limb length proportions of Gansus are most similar to Apodiformes (swifts and hummingbirds), which plot away from all other extant birds. In contrast, the pelvic limb length proportions of Gansus fall within the extant bird cluster and show similarities with the neornithine families Podicipedidae (grebes), Diomedeidae (albatross) and Phalacrocoracidae (cormorants). Although it does have some of the pelvic limb features of grebes and cormorants, the femur of Gansus is more gracile and is thus more consistent with an albatross-like shallow-diving mode of life than a strong foot-propelled diving movement pattern. The position of Gansus in pectoral limb ternary morphospace is largely due to its elongated manus. In contrast to apodiformes, where the humerus and ulna are short and robust, an adaptation, which provides a stiff wing for their demanding fast agile and hovering flight (respectively), the wing-bones of Gansus are slender, indicating a less vigorous flapping flight style. The suite of characters exhibited by Gansus mean it is difficult to completely interpret its likely ecology. Nevertheless, our analyses suggest that it is probable that this bird was both volant and capable of diving to some degree using either foot-propelled or, perhaps, both its wings and its feet for underwater locomotion.

  14. Classification of Animal Movement Behavior through Residence in Space and Time.

    PubMed

    Torres, Leigh G; Orben, Rachael A; Tolkova, Irina; Thompson, David R

    2017-01-01

    Identification and classification of behavior states in animal movement data can be complex, temporally biased, time-intensive, scale-dependent, and unstandardized across studies and taxa. Large movement datasets are increasingly common and there is a need for efficient methods of data exploration that adjust to the individual variability of each track. We present the Residence in Space and Time (RST) method to classify behavior patterns in movement data based on the concept that behavior states can be partitioned by the amount of space and time occupied in an area of constant scale. Using normalized values of Residence Time and Residence Distance within a constant search radius, RST is able to differentiate behavior patterns that are time-intensive (e.g., rest), time & distance-intensive (e.g., area restricted search), and transit (short time and distance). We use grey-headed albatross (Thalassarche chrysostoma) GPS tracks to demonstrate RST's ability to classify behavior patterns and adjust to the inherent scale and individuality of each track. Next, we evaluate RST's ability to discriminate between behavior states relative to other classical movement metrics. We then temporally sub-sample albatross track data to illustrate RST's response to less resolved data. Finally, we evaluate RST's performance using datasets from four taxa with diverse ecology, functional scales, ecosystems, and data-types. We conclude that RST is a robust, rapid, and flexible method for detailed exploratory analysis and meta-analyses of behavioral states in animal movement data based on its ability to integrate distance and time measurements into one descriptive metric of behavior groupings. Given the increasing amount of animal movement data collected, it is timely and useful to implement a consistent metric of behavior classification to enable efficient and comparative analyses. Overall, the application of RST to objectively explore and compare behavior patterns in movement data can

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Is arsenobetaine the major arsenic compound in the liver of birds marine mammals, and sea turtles?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kubota, R.; Kunito, T.; Tanabe, S.

    2003-05-01

    Concentrations of total arsenic and individual arsenic compounds were determined in the livers of birds, marine mammals, and sea turtles by using hydride generation-atomic absorption spectrometry (HG-AAS) and high performance liquid chromatography/inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (HPLC/ICP-MS). Marine mammals feeding on cephalopods and crustaceans accumulated higher arsenic concentrations than the species feeding on fishes. No significant age and gender differences in arsenic concentrations were observed for most of the species of marine mammals. Elevated total arsenic concentrations were found in livers of black-footed albatross and loggerhead turtles and these values were comparable to those of lower trophic marine animals. Arsenobetaine was the major arsenical in the livers of most of the species examined. Particularly, in seabirds, mean proportions of arsenobetaine was more than90% of total extractable arsenic In contast, arsenobetaine was a minor constituent in dugong. The compositions of arsenic compounds were different among the species examined. These results might be due to the differences in the metabolic capacity among species and/or the different compositions of arsenic compounds in their preys.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Reynolds, A M

    2015-07-08

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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".

  8. "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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Moment tensor analysis of very shallow sources

    DOE PAGES

    Chiang, Andrea; Dreger, Douglas S.; Ford, Sean R.; ...

    2016-10-11

    An issue for moment tensor (MT) inversion of shallow seismic sources is that some components of the Green’s functions have vanishing amplitudes at the free surface, which can result in bias in the MT solution. The effects of the free surface on the stability of the MT method become important as we continue to investigate and improve the capabilities of regional full MT inversion for source–type identification and discrimination. It is important to understand free–surface effects on discriminating shallow explosive sources for nuclear monitoring purposes. It may also be important in natural systems that have very shallow seismicity, such asmore » volcanic and geothermal systems. We examine the effects of the free surface on the MT via synthetic testing and apply the MT–based discrimination method to three quarry blasts from the HUMMING ALBATROSS experiment. These shallow chemical explosions at ~10 m depth and recorded up to several kilometers distance represent rather severe source–station geometry in terms of free–surface effects. We show that the method is capable of recovering a predominantly explosive source mechanism, and the combined waveform and first–motion method enables the unique discrimination of these events. Furthermore, recovering the design yield using seismic moment estimates from MT inversion remains challenging, but we can begin to put error bounds on our moment estimates using the network sensitivity solution technique.« less

  15. 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.

  16. Bone laminarity in the avian forelimb skeleton and its relationship to flight mode: testing functional interpretations.

    PubMed

    Simons, Erin L R; O'connor, Patrick M

    2012-03-01

    Wing bone histology in three species of birds was characterized in order to test hypotheses related to the relationship between skeletal microstructure and inferred wing loading during flight. Data on the degree of laminarity (the proportion of circular vascular canals) and the occurrence of secondary osteons were obtained from three species that utilize different primary flight modes: the Double-crested cormorant, a continuous flapper; the Brown pelican, a static soarer; and the Laysan albatross, a dynamic soarer. Laminarity indices were calculated for four quadrants for each of the three main wing elements. Ulnae and carpometacarpi were predicted to exhibit quadrant specific patterns of laminarity due to hypothesized differences in locally applied loads related to the attachment of flight feathers. However, few differences among the quadrants were identified. No significant differences were identified among the three elements, which is notable as different bones are likely experiencing different loading conditions. These results do not support the concept of bone functional adaptation in the primary structure of the wing elements. Significant differences in laminarity were found among the three primary flight modes. The dynamic soaring birds exhibited significantly lower laminarity than the flapping and static soaring birds. These results support the proposed hypothesis that laminarity is an adaptation for resisting torsional loading. This may be explained by overall wing shape: whereas dynamic soaring birds have long slender wings, flappers and static soaring birds have broader wings with a larger wing chord that would necessarily impart a higher torsional moment on the feather-bearing bones.

  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. 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

  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.

  20. 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.

  1. Variation in extinction risk among birds: chance or evolutionary predisposition?

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, P. M.; Owens, I. P. F.

    1997-01-01

    Collar et al. (1994) estimate that of the 9,672 extant species of bird, 1,111 are threatened by extinction. Here, we test whether these threatened species are simply a random sample of birds, or whether there is something about their biology that predisposes them to extinction. We ask three specific questions. First, is extinction risk randomly distributed among families? Second, which families, if any, contain more, or less, threatened species than would be expected by chance? Third, is variation between taxa in extinction risk associated with variation in either body size or fecundity? Extinction risk is not randomly distributed among families. The families which contain significantly more threatened species than expected are the parrots (Psittacidae), pheasants and allies (Phasianidae), albatrosses and allies (Procellariidae), rails (Rallidae), cranes (Gruidae), cracids (Cracidae), megapodes (Megapodidae) and pigeons (Columbidae). The only family which contains significantly fewer threatened species than expected is the woodpeckers (Picidae). Extinction risk is also not distributed randomly with respect to fecundity or body size. Once phylogeny has been controlled for, increases in extinction risk are independently associated with increases in body size and decreases in fecundity. We suggest that this is because low rates of fecundity, which evolved many tens of millions of years ago, predisposed certain lineages to extinction. Low-fecundity populations take longer to recover if they are reduced to small sizes and are, therefore, more likely to go extinct if an external force causes an increase in the rate of mortality, thereby perturbing the natural balance between fecundity and mortality.

  2. Waterbird conservation for the Americas: The North American waterbird conservation plan, version 1

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kushlan, James A.; Steinkamp, Melanie J.; Parsons, Katharine C.; Capp, Jack; Cruz, Martin Acosta; Coulter, Malcolm; Davidson, Ian; Dickson, Loney; Edelson, Naomi; Elliot, Richard; Erwin, R. Michael; Hatch, Scott A.; Kress, Stephen; Milko, Robert; Miller, Steve; Mills, Kyra L.; Paul, Richard; Phillips, Roberto; Saliva, Jorge E.; Syderman, Bill; Trapp, John; Wheeler, Jennifer; Wohl, Kenton D.

    2002-01-01

    The North American Waterbird Conservation Plan (the Plan) is the product of an independent partnership of individuals and institutions having interest and responsibility for conservation of waterbirds and their habitats in the Americas. This partnership - Waterbird Conservation for the Americas - was created to support a vision in which the distribution, diversity, and abundance of populations and habitats of breeding, migratory, and nonbreeding waterbirds are sustained or restored throughout the lands and waters of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.The Plan provides a continental-scale framework for the conservation and management of 210 species of waterbirds, including seabirds, coastal waterbirds, wading birds, and marshbirds utilizing aquatic habitats in 29 nations throughout North America, Central America, the islands and pelagic waters of the Caribbean Sea and western Atlantic, the U.S.-associated Pacific Islands and pelagic inland and pelagic waters of the Pacific. Birds as familiar as herons, loons, pelicans, and gulls, as well as the lesser known albatrosses, petrels, auks, and rails are among the species considered in the Plan. These birds' dependence on aquatic habitats such as wooded swamps, stream corridors, salt marshes, barrier islands, continental shelf waters and open pelagic waters make them especially vulnerable to the myriad threats facing water and wetland resources globally. In addition, the congregatory behavior of many waterbirds increases population risks by concentrating populations in limited areas.

  3. 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.

  4. Personality, foraging and fitness consequences in a long lived seabird.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. [Experimental justification of possible mechanisms of action of low intensity electromagnetic radiation (EMR) on animals' behavior].

    PubMed

    Pavlov, L N; Dubrovik, B V; Zhavoronkov, l P; Glushakova, V S

    2012-01-01

    Effects of EMR on the behavior of Wistar rats (196 males, 180-240 g of mass) under the conflict of opposed motivations: strong positive, drinking, motivation, and strong negative, pain, motivation were studied. The animals were exposed to low intensity EMR (40 microW/cm2) produced by two independent sources, 475 MHz (Albatross) with two orthogonal E vectors, and synchronization of rhythm modulation in the range of electroencephalography (EEG) frequency. The effect on behavior was observed during 10 min: 1) following the 5-minute exposure to EMR and 2) during the 10-minute exposure. Low intensity EMR of the above mentioned parameters and pulse modulation of 4, 8, 10 and 13 Hz was found to inhibit development of phobia to pain, increase the number of punishable contacts. It testifies to the existence of a weak anxiolytic effect which is similar to the effect of tranquilizers. If animals were exposed to EMR following administration of phenazepam, the radiation was shown to produce potentiation of the anxiolytic effect ofphenazepam. Effect of phenazepam is associated with activation ofbenzdiazipine receptors in the structure ofGABA-ergic receptor complex, which regulates neural membrane chloride channel conductance. We can suggest that anxiolytic and neurodepressive effects of EMR are realized to some extent at the level of ionophore and regulatory receptor complexes.

  6. 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.

  7. Moment tensor analysis of very shallow sources

    SciTech Connect

    Chiang, Andrea; Dreger, Douglas S.; Ford, Sean R.; Walter, William R.; Yoo, Seung -Hoon

    2016-10-11

    An issue for moment tensor (MT) inversion of shallow seismic sources is that some components of the Green’s functions have vanishing amplitudes at the free surface, which can result in bias in the MT solution. The effects of the free surface on the stability of the MT method become important as we continue to investigate and improve the capabilities of regional full MT inversion for source–type identification and discrimination. It is important to understand free–surface effects on discriminating shallow explosive sources for nuclear monitoring purposes. It may also be important in natural systems that have very shallow seismicity, such as volcanic and geothermal systems. We examine the effects of the free surface on the MT via synthetic testing and apply the MT–based discrimination method to three quarry blasts from the HUMMING ALBATROSS experiment. These shallow chemical explosions at ~10 m depth and recorded up to several kilometers distance represent rather severe source–station geometry in terms of free–surface effects. We show that the method is capable of recovering a predominantly explosive source mechanism, and the combined waveform and first–motion method enables the unique discrimination of these events. Furthermore, recovering the design yield using seismic moment estimates from MT inversion remains challenging, but we can begin to put error bounds on our moment estimates using the network sensitivity solution technique.

  8. Contamination and toxic effects of persistent endocrine disrupters in marine mammals and birds.

    PubMed

    Tanabe, Shinsuke

    2002-01-01

    In recent years, several species of marine mammals and birds have been affected by uncommon diseases and unusual mortalities. While several possible causative factors have been attributed for these events, a prominent suspect is exposure to man-made toxic contaminants. Particularly, some of these man-made chemicals can disrupt normal endocrine physiology in animals. At CMES, our studies focus on exposure and toxic effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals, particularly organochlorines, in higher trophic level wildlife. Endocrine disrupting chemicals, such as organochlorine insecticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, organotins etc. are found in tissues of a wide variety of wildlife. Extremely high concentrations have been found in animals afflicted with diseases and/or victims of mass mortalities. Elevated contamination by organochlorines has been found in open sea animals such as cetaceans and albatrosses, which seemed to be attributable to their low capacity to metabolize toxic persistent contaminants. Significant correlations between biochemical parameters (serum hormone concentrations and cytochrome P450 enzyme activities) and residues of endocrine disrupting chemicals were found in some species of marine animals, which indicates that these chemicals may impose toxic effects in animals even at the current levels of exposure. In general, water birds and marine mammals accumulated the dioxin-like compounds with much higher concentrations than humans, implying higher risk from exposure in wildlife. The future issues of endocrine disrupting chemicals in humans and wildlife will have to be focused in developing countries.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Migratory routes and at-sea threats to Pink-footed Shearwaters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Adams, Josh; Felis, Jonathan J.; Hodum, Peter; Colodro, Valentina; Carle, Ryan; López, Verónica

    2016-01-01

    The Pink-footed Shearwater (Ardenna creatopus) is a seabird with a breeding range restricted to three islands in Chile and an estimated world population of approximately 56,000 breeding individuals (Muñoz 2011, Oikonos unpublished data). Due to multiple threats on breeding colonies and at-sea, Pink-footed Shearwaters are listed as Endangered by the government of Chile (Reglamento de Clasificación de Especies, 2011), Threatened by the government of Canada (Environment Canada 2008), and are listed under Appendix 1 of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP 2013). A principal conservation concern for the species is mortality from fisheries bycatch during the breeding and non-breeding seasons; thus, identification of areas of overlap between at-sea use by Pink-footed Shearwaters and fisheries is a high priority conservation objective (Hinojosa Sáez and Hodum 1997, Mangel et al. 2013, ACAP 2013). During the non-breeding period, Pink-footed Shearwaters range as far north as Canada, although little was known until recently about migration routes and important wintering areas where fisheries bycatch could be a risk. Additionally, Pink-footed Shearwaters face at-sea threats during the non-breeding season off the west coast of North America. Recently, areas used by wintering Pink-footed Shearwaters have been identified as areas of interest for developing alternative energy offshore in North America (e.g., floating wind generators; Trident Winds 2016). The goal of our study was to track Pink-footed Shearwater post-breeding movements with satellite tags to identify timing and routes of migration, locate important non-breeding foraging habitats, and determine population distribution among different wintering regions.

  12. Early penguin fossils, plus mitochondrial genomes, calibrate avian evolution.

    PubMed

    Slack, Kerryn E; Jones, Craig M; Ando, Tatsuro; Harrison, G L Abby; Fordyce, R Ewan; Arnason, Ulfur; Penny, David

    2006-06-01

    Testing models of macroevolution, and especially the sufficiency of microevolutionary processes, requires good collaboration between molecular biologists and paleontologists. We report such a test for events around the Late Cretaceous by describing the earliest penguin fossils, analyzing complete mitochondrial genomes from an albatross, a petrel, and a loon, and describe the gradual decline of pterosaurs at the same time modern birds radiate. The penguin fossils comprise four naturally associated skeletons from the New Zealand Waipara Greensand, a Paleocene (early Tertiary) formation just above a well-known Cretaceous/Tertiary boundary site. The fossils, in a new genus (Waimanu), provide a lower estimate of 61-62 Ma for the divergence between penguins and other birds and thus establish a reliable calibration point for avian evolution. Combining fossil calibration points, DNA sequences, maximum likelihood, and Bayesian analysis, the penguin calibrations imply a radiation of modern (crown group) birds in the Late Cretaceous. This includes a conservative estimate that modern sea and shorebird lineages diverged at least by the Late Cretaceous about 74 +/- 3 Ma (Campanian). It is clear that modern birds from at least the latest Cretaceous lived at the same time as archaic birds including Hesperornis, Ichthyornis, and the diverse Enantiornithiformes. Pterosaurs, which also coexisted with early crown birds, show notable changes through the Late Cretaceous. There was a decrease in taxonomic diversity, and small- to medium-sized species disappeared well before the end of the Cretaceous. A simple reading of the fossil record might suggest competitive interactions with birds, but much more needs to be understood about pterosaur life histories. Additional fossils and molecular data are still required to help understand the role of biotic interactions in the evolution of Late Cretaceous birds and thus to test that the mechanisms of microevolution are sufficient to explain

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Stattersfield, Alison J; Bennun, Leon A; Shutes, Sue M; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Baillie, Jonathan E. M; Stuart, Simon N; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Mace, Georgina M

    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

  18. 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.

  19. Free-Flight Odor Tracking in Drosophila Is Consistent with an Optimal Intermittent Scale-Free Search

    PubMed Central

    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° 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° 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

  20. Measuring global trends in the status of biodiversity: red list indices for birds.

    PubMed

    Butchart, Stuart H M; Stattersfield, Alison J; Bennun, Leon A; Shutes, Sue M; Akçakaya, H Resit; Baillie, Jonathan E M; Stuart, Simon N; Hilton-Taylor, Craig; Mace, Georgina M

    2004-12-01

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. A new marker based on the avian spindlin gene that is able to sex most birds, including species problematic to sex with CHD markers.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Deborah A; Dos Remedios, Natalie; Horsburgh, Gavin J

    2016-11-01

    We have developed a new marker (Z43B) that can be successfully used to identify the sex of most birds (69%), including species difficult or impossible to sex with other markers. We utilized the zebra finch Taeniopygia guttata EST microsatellite sequence (CK309496) which displays sequence homology to the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of the avian spindlin gene. This gene is known to be present on the Z and W chromosomes. To maximize cross-species utility, the primer set was designed from a consensus sequence created from homologs of CK309496 that were isolated from multiple distantly related species. Both the forward and reverse primer sequences were 100% identical to 14 avian species, including the Z chromosome of eight species and the chicken Gallus gallus W chromosome, as well as the saltwater crocodile Crocodylus porosus. The Z43B primer set was assessed by genotyping individuals of known sex belonging to 61 non-ratite species and a single ratite. The Z and W amplicons differed in size making it possible to distinguish between males (ZZ) and females (ZW) for the majority (69%) of non-ratite species tested, comprising 10 orders of birds. We predict that this marker will be useful for obtaining sex-typing data for ca 6,869 species of birds (69% of non-ratites but not galliforms). A wide range of species could be sex-typed including passerines, shorebirds, eagles, falcons, bee-eaters, cranes, shags, parrots, penguins, ducks, and a ratite species, the brown kiwi, Apteryx australis. Those species sexed include species impossible or problematic to sex-type with other markers (magpie, albatross, petrel, eagle, falcon, crane, and penguin species). Zoo Biol. 35:533-545, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. Zoo Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. Pelagic ecology of the South West Indian Ocean Ridge seamounts: Introduction and overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, A. D.

    2017-02-01

    The Indian Ocean was described by Behrman (1981) as the "Forlorn Ocean", a region neglected by science up to the late-1950s. For example, the Challenger Expedition from 1872 to 1876 largely avoided the Indian Ocean, sailing from Cape Town into Antarctic waters sampling around the Prince Edward Islands, Kerguelen Island and Crozet Islands before heading to Melbourne. From 1876 to the 1950s there were expeditions on several vessels including the Valdivia, Gauss and Planet (Germany), the Snellius (Netherlands), Discovery II, MahaBiss (United Kingdom), Albatross (Sweden), Dana and Galathea (Denmark; Behrman, 1981). There was no coordination between these efforts and overall the Indian Ocean, especially the deep sea remained perhaps the most poorly explored of the world's oceans. This situation was largely behind the multilateral effort represented by the International Indian Ocean Expedition (IIEO), which was coordinated by the Scientific Committee for Ocean Research (SCOR), and which ran from 1959-1965. Work during this expedition focused on the Arabian Sea, the area to the northwest of Australia and the waters over the continental shelves and slopes of coastal states in the region. Subsequently several large-scale international oceanographic programmes have included significant components in the Indian Ocean, including the Joint Global Ocean Flux Study (JGOFS) and the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE). These studies were focused on physical oceanographic measurements and biogeochemistry and whilst the Indian Ocean is still less understood than other large oceans it is now integrated into the major ocean observation systems (Talley et al., 2011). This cannot be said for many aspects of the biology of the region, despite the fact that the Indian Ocean is one of the places where exploitation of marine living resources is still growing (FAO, 2016). The biology of the deep Indian Ocean outside of the Arabian Sea is particularly poorly understood given the presence

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Modeling metapopulation dynamics for single species of seabirds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Buckley, P.A.; Downer, R.; McCullough, D.R.; Barrett, R.H.

    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

  7. 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

  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. Full mitochondrial genome sequences of two endemic Philippine hornbill species (Aves: Bucerotidae) provide evidence for pervasive mitochondrial DNA recombination

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Although nowaday it is broadly accepted that mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) may undergo recombination, the frequency of such recombination remains controversial. Its estimation is not straightforward, as recombination under homoplasmy (i.e., among identical mt genomes) is likely to be overlooked. In species with tandem duplications of large mtDNA fragments the detection of recombination can be facilitated, as it can lead to gene conversion among duplicates. Although the mechanisms for concerted evolution in mtDNA are not fully understood yet, recombination rates have been estimated from "one per speciation event" down to 850 years or even "during every replication cycle". Results Here we present the first complete mt genome of the avian family Bucerotidae, i.e., that of two Philippine hornbills, Aceros waldeni and Penelopides panini. The mt genomes are characterized by a tandemly duplicated region encompassing part of cytochrome b, 3 tRNAs, NADH6, and the control region. The duplicated fragments are identical to each other except for a short section in domain I and for the length of repeat motifs in domain III of the control region. Due to the heteroplasmy with regard to the number of these repeat motifs, there is some size variation in both genomes; with around 21,657 bp (A. waldeni) and 22,737 bp (P. panini), they significantly exceed the hitherto longest known avian mt genomes, that of the albatrosses. We discovered concerted evolution between the duplicated fragments within individuals. The existence of differences between individuals in coding genes as well as in the control region, which are maintained between duplicates, indicates that recombination apparently occurs frequently, i.e., in every generation. Conclusions The homogenised duplicates are interspersed by a short fragment which shows no sign of recombination. We hypothesize that this region corresponds to the so-called Replication Fork Barrier (RFB), which has been described from the chicken

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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.

    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.

  4. 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