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Staffan Roos, Jennifer Smart, David W Gibbons, Jeremy D Wilson
The impact of increasing vertebrate predator numbers on bird populations is widely debated among the general public, game managers and conservationists across Europe. However, there are few systematic reviews of whether predation limits the population sizes of European bird species. Views on the impacts of predation are particularly polarised in the UK, probably because the UK has a globally exceptional culture of intensive, high-yield gamebird management where predator removal is the norm. In addition, most apex predators have been exterminated or much depleted in numbers, contributing to a widely held perception that the UK has high numbers of mesopredators...
May 22, 2018: Biological Reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
Jarrod A Santora, Ramona Zeno, Jeffrey G Dorman, William J Sydeman
Submarine canyon systems are ubiquitous features of marine ecosystems, known to support high levels of biodiversity. Canyons may be important to benthic-pelagic ecosystem coupling, but their role in concentrating plankton and structuring pelagic communities is not well known. We hypothesize that at the scale of a large marine ecosystem, canyons provide a critical habitat network, which maintain energy flow and trophic interactions. We evaluate canyon characteristics relative to the distribution and abundance of krill, critically important prey in the California Current Ecosystem...
May 15, 2018: Scientific Reports
Alan M Springer, Gus B van Vliet, Natalie Bool, Mike Crowley, Peter Fullagar, Mary-Anne Lea, Ross Monash, Cassandra Price, Caitlin Vertigan, Eric J Woehler
Pink salmon ( Oncorhynchus gorbuscha ) in the North Pacific Ocean have flourished since the 1970s, with growth in wild populations augmented by rising hatchery production. As their abundance has grown, so too has evidence that they are having important effects on other species and on ocean ecosystems. In alternating years of high abundance, they can initiate pelagic trophic cascades in the northern North Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea and depress the availability of common prey resources of other species of salmon, resident seabirds, and other pelagic species...
May 14, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Verónica Cortés, Jacob González-Solís
High numbers of seabirds are killed annually worldwide in longline fisheries. In the Mediterranean, this mortality is seriously affecting the viability of seabird populations, in particular of the three endemic shearwaters. Even so, there is currently no specific seabird mitigation requirements for the longline fleet operating in this area. From 2013 to 2014, we assessed the efficiency and practical applicability of four mitigation measures on artisanal demersal longliners targeting European hake (Merluccius merluccius) in the western Mediterranean: night setting, tori line, weighted lines and artificial baits...
2018: PloS One
April Hedd, Ingrid L Pollet, Robert A Mauck, Chantelle M Burke, Mark L Mallory, Laura A McFarlane Tranquilla, William A Montevecchi, Gregory J Robertson, Robert A Ronconi, Dave Shutler, Sabina I Wilhelm, Neil M Burgess
Despite their importance in marine food webs, much has yet to be learned about the spatial ecology of small seabirds. This includes the Leach's storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa, a species that is declining throughout its Northwest Atlantic breeding range. In 2013 and 2014, we used global location sensors to track foraging movements of incubating storm-petrels from 7 eastern Canadian breeding colonies. We determined and compared the foraging trip and at-sea habitat characteristics, analysed spatial overlap among colonies, and determined whether colony foraging ranges intersected with offshore oil and gas operations...
2018: PloS One
Jocelyn Champagnon, Jean-Dominique Lebreton, Hugh Drummond, David J Anderson
Understanding and modeling population change is urgently needed to predict effects of climate change on biodiversity. High trophic-level organisms are influenced by fluctuations of prey quality and abundance, which themselves may depend on climate oscillations. Modeling effects of such fluctuations is challenging because prey populations may vary with multiple climate oscillations occurring at different time scales. The analysis of a 28-yr time series of capture-recapture data of a tropical seabird, the Nazca Booby (Sula granti), in the Galápagos, Ecuador, allowed us to test for demographic effects of two major ocean oscillations occurring at distinct time-scales: the inter-annual El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and inter-decadal oscillations...
May 2018: Ecology
C V Z Cipro, P Bustamante, M V Petry, R C Montone
Global distillation is classically pointed as the biggest responsible for contaminant inputs in Polar ecosystems. Mercury (Hg) and other trace elements (TEs) also present natural sources, whereas the biologically mediated input is typically ignored. However, bioaccumulation and biomagnification combined with the fact that seabirds gather in large numbers into large colonies and excrete on land might represent an important local TEs input. A previous work suggested these colonies as sources of not only nutrients, but also organic contaminants...
March 24, 2018: Chemosphere
Erick González-Medina, José Alfredo Castillo-Guerrero, Sharon Zinah Herzka, Guillermo Fernández
[This corrects the article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0193136.].
2018: PloS One
Heidi Acampora, Philip White, Olga Lyashevska, Ian O'Connor
Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are anthropogenic contaminants of environmental concern due to their persistence in the environment and capacity to accumulate in biota. Many of these contaminants have been found to have ill effects over wildlife and humans. Birds are known to be particularly affected through endocrine disruption and eggshell thinning. POPs have been banned or restricted through the Stockholm Convention (2001), making monitoring essential for tracking effects of regulation...
April 5, 2018: Environmental Science and Pollution Research International
Katie J Harrington, Suzan Pole-Evans, Micky Reeves, Marc Bechard, Melissa Bobowski, David R Barber, Kalinka Rexer-Huber, Nicolas Lecomte, Keith L Bildstein
Background: The extent to which seasonal changes in food availability affect small-scale movements in free-ranging populations of birds of prey is relatively little studied. Here we describe a seasonal "micro-migration" of a farm-island population of striated caracaras ( Phalcoboenus australis ) in the Falkland Islands in response to seasonal changes in the availability of seabird carcasses. We banded more than 450 individuals on Saunders Island, deployed archival and satellite GPS data loggers on 17 individuals, and monitored movements within and between two feeding areas on Saunders Island, a "marine-subsidized" site near seabird colonies and an anthropogenic "human-subsidized" farm site 16 km to the southeast...
2018: Movement Ecology
Julian P Hume, David Martill, Richard Hing
The Pleistocene vertebrate assemblage of Aldabra Atoll has been comparatively well studied. Three Upper Pleistocene fossil localities have been described yielding birds, reptiles and terrestrial molluscs. Those of Bassin Cabri and Bassin Lebine on Ile Picard are undated but must be in excess of 136,000 YBP, whereas Point Hodoul on Malabar Island is circa 100,000 YBP. Aldabra was seemingly completely submerged between deposition of the Ile Picard and Point Hodoul deposits, resulting in local faunal extinctions...
2018: PloS One
Matthew G Burgess, Grant R McDermott, Brandon Owashi, Lindsey E Peavey Reeves, Tyler Clavelle, Daniel Ovando, Bryan P Wallace, Rebecca L Lewison, Steven D Gaines, Christopher Costello
Reductions in global fishing pressure are needed to end overfishing of target species and maximize the value of fisheries. We ask whether such reductions would also be sufficient to protect non-target species threatened as bycatch. We compare changes in fishing pressure needed to maximize profits from 4713 target fish stocks-accounting for >75% of global catch-to changes in fishing pressure needed to reverse ongoing declines of 20 marine mammal, sea turtle, and seabird populations threatened as bycatch. We project that maximizing fishery profits would halt or reverse declines of approximately half of these threatened populations...
March 16, 2018: Science
Dariusz Jakubas, Lech M Iliszko, Hallvard Strøm, Halfdan H Helgason, Lech Stempniewicz
Background: Foraging strategies of seabird species often vary considerably between and within individuals. This variability is influenced by a multitude of factors including age, sex, stage of annual life cycle, reproductive status, individual specialization and environmental conditions. Results: Using GPS-loggers, we investigated factors affecting foraging flight characteristics (total duration, maximal range, total distance covered) of great skuas Stercorarius skua of known sex breeding on Bjørnøya, Svalbard, the largest colony in the Barents Sea region...
2018: Frontiers in Zoology
Jailson F Moura, Davi C Tavares, Leila S Lemos, Victor Vilas-Bôas Silveira, Salvatore Siciliano, Rachel A Hauser-Davis
The vulnerability of seabirds related to their migratory dynamics is frequently linked to environmental problems along the migration path. In this context, Magellanic penguins (Sphenicus magellanicus) seem to be vulnerable to an extensive range of environmental disturbances during their northward migration along the Atlantic waters of South America, which include by catch, marine debris ingestion, overfishing and environmental contamination. In this study, we investigate mercury accumulation in muscle and hepatic tissues of juveniles penguins collected along the Brazilian coast during three migratory seasonal years (2006, 2008 and 2012) and three areas along a latitudinal gradient...
March 24, 2018: Environmental Pollution
Enrico Pirotta, Ewan W J Edwards, Leslie New, Paul M Thompson
1.Human activities can influence the movement of organisms, either repelling or attracting individuals depending on whether they interfere with natural behavioural patterns or enhance access to food. To discern the processes affecting such interactions, an appropriate analytical approach must reflect the motivations driving behavioural decisions at multiple scales. 2.In this study, we developed a modelling framework for the analysis of foraging trips by central place foragers. By recognising the distinction between movement phases at a larger scale and movement steps at a finer scale, our model can identify periods when animals are actively following moving attractors in their landscape...
March 25, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Vasiliy Yu Tsygankov, Olga N Lukyanova, Margarita D Boyarova
Bioaccumulation of organochlorine pesticides by marine organisms is one of the methods of environmental quality. Concentrations of organochlorine pesticides (HCH isomers (α-, β-, γ-HCH), p,p'-DDT and its metabolites (p,p'-DDD, p,p'-DDE)) in samples of seabirds (Northern fulmar Fulmarus glacialis, Crested auklet Aethia cristatella, Auklet-crumb Aethia pusilla, Pacific gull Larus schistisagus, and Gray petrel Oceanodroma furcate) and marine mammals (Gray whales Eschrichtius robustus and Pacific walrus Odobenus rosmarus divergens) were measured by a GC-MS...
March 2018: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Caitlin Black, Colin Southwell, Louise Emmerson, Daniel Lunn, Tom Hart
Polar seabirds adopt different over-wintering strategies to survive and build condition during the critical winter period. Penguin species either reside at the colony during the winter months or migrate long distances. Tracking studies and survey methods have revealed differences in winter migration routes among penguin species and colonies, dependent on both biotic and abiotic factors present. However, scan sampling methods are rarely used to reveal non-breeding behaviors during winter and little is known about presence at the colony site over this period...
2018: PloS One
Philip L Richardson, Ewan D Wakefield, Richard A Phillips
Background: Albatrosses and other large seabirds use dynamic soaring to gain sufficient energy from the wind to travel large distances rapidly and with little apparent effort. The recent development of miniature bird-borne tracking devices now makes it possible to explore the physical and biological implications of this means of locomotion in detail. Here we use GPS tracking and concurrent reanalyzed wind speed data to model the flight performance of wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans soaring over the Southern Ocean...
2018: Movement Ecology
Lisa Ito, Takayuki Omori, Minoru Yoneda, Toru Yamaguchi, Ryuta Kobayashi, Yoshio Takahashi
The sediments of Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands, consist of bioclastic materials, including foraminifera and coral debris. The sedimentary depth profiles of elements showed that various elements including zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) were enriched in the upper layers of the islands of Majuro Atoll. Carbon-14 dating revealed that the sedimentation of the upper layer was completed before 1670 and 542 cal BP in Laura and Calalen, respectively. The enriched elements could be categorized by their origins: (a) terrestrial elements transported as dust (aluminum (Al) and rare earth elements (REEs)); (b) anthropogenic elements (Zn and Cu); and (c) elements supplied by seabirds (phosphorus (P))...
July 2018: Chemosphere
J K Pinnegar
The damselfish Chromis chromis is typically the most abundant fish species in the rocky littoral environment of the Mediterranean Sea, where it feeds in huge shoals on incoming zooplankton and rests near the seabed each night. Research has shown that large populations of C. chromis play a fundamental role by transferring carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus directly from the pelagic system to the littoral in the form of solid and liquid wastes and therefore that this species acts as a vital conduit for nutrients...
March 2018: Journal of Fish Biology
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