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Using integrated land- and boat-based surveys to inform conservation of the Critically Endangered Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus in northeast Atlantic waters

Using integrated land- and boat-based surveys to inform conservation of the Critically Endangered Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus in northeast Atlantic waters
Using integrated land- and boat-based surveys to inform conservation of the Critically Endangered Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus in northeast Atlantic waters
ABSTRACT: We investigated spatio-temporal distribution patterns of the Critically Endangered Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus in the northern part of its migratory range, using a combination of effort-corrected land- and boat-based survey data (2007-2010). The species was recorded regularly along the western English Channel (Western Channel) coasts of northwest France and the southwest UK, with peak counts occurring during the summer and autumn months. Foraging aggregations comprising hundreds to thousands of birds (~1 to 20% of the global population) were recorded in the large shallow embayments of northern Brittany in all survey years. Elsewhere, most birds were recorded on passage, with maximum birds-per-hour (BPH) of 169 off northwest France and 36 off the southwest UK. Few birds were recorded offshore, beyond sight of land. A distance-from-shore analysis revealed that the species passed closer to shore than other pelagic seabirds such as sooty shearwater Puffinus griseus. A constant-effort seasonal survey from the southwest tip of the UK mainland recorded the species on 93% of survey days, with BPH rates peaking in the morning between 08:00 and 11:00 h. These results have important monitoring and conservation implications for this Critically Endangered species. In particular, the records of large aggregations in spatially restricted areas of the Western Channel during the inter-breeding period suggests the species could be vulnerable to impacts such as oil spills, or disturbance from offshore construction projects. We also provide evidence that some birds remain in the survey area during the breeding season, suggesting it may be an important site for non-breeding birds.
Balearic shearwater, Puffinus mauretanicus, Spatio-temporal distribution, Visual monitoring, Critically Endangered, Western Channel, Conservation
1863-5407
1-18
Jones, A.R.
0bd0a522-f948-4b80-9c25-be108ee78147
Wynn, R.B.
72ccd765-9240-45f8-9951-4552b497475a
Yésou, P.
57812dbe-36d1-4c1c-b214-310e8e7f15c3
Thébault, L.
bb8b621d-95d0-4f72-9363-f0339674d54d
Collins, P.
3aa675b7-c29b-45bf-813f-f85d8919ad97
Suberg, L.
4b772af2-4b34-45d4-866a-fb934376e1cd
Lewis, K.M.
d418b2f8-7f73-4bdb-bdba-3b8cd2cbf60b
Brereton, T.M.
ba8b007d-096b-4976-9857-46ce0f0538eb
Jones, A.R.
0bd0a522-f948-4b80-9c25-be108ee78147
Wynn, R.B.
72ccd765-9240-45f8-9951-4552b497475a
Yésou, P.
57812dbe-36d1-4c1c-b214-310e8e7f15c3
Thébault, L.
bb8b621d-95d0-4f72-9363-f0339674d54d
Collins, P.
3aa675b7-c29b-45bf-813f-f85d8919ad97
Suberg, L.
4b772af2-4b34-45d4-866a-fb934376e1cd
Lewis, K.M.
d418b2f8-7f73-4bdb-bdba-3b8cd2cbf60b
Brereton, T.M.
ba8b007d-096b-4976-9857-46ce0f0538eb

Jones, A.R., Wynn, R.B., Yésou, P., Thébault, L., Collins, P., Suberg, L., Lewis, K.M. and Brereton, T.M. (2014) Using integrated land- and boat-based surveys to inform conservation of the Critically Endangered Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus in northeast Atlantic waters. Endangered Species Research, 25 (1), 1-18. (doi:10.3354/esr00611).

Record type: Article

Abstract

ABSTRACT: We investigated spatio-temporal distribution patterns of the Critically Endangered Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus in the northern part of its migratory range, using a combination of effort-corrected land- and boat-based survey data (2007-2010). The species was recorded regularly along the western English Channel (Western Channel) coasts of northwest France and the southwest UK, with peak counts occurring during the summer and autumn months. Foraging aggregations comprising hundreds to thousands of birds (~1 to 20% of the global population) were recorded in the large shallow embayments of northern Brittany in all survey years. Elsewhere, most birds were recorded on passage, with maximum birds-per-hour (BPH) of 169 off northwest France and 36 off the southwest UK. Few birds were recorded offshore, beyond sight of land. A distance-from-shore analysis revealed that the species passed closer to shore than other pelagic seabirds such as sooty shearwater Puffinus griseus. A constant-effort seasonal survey from the southwest tip of the UK mainland recorded the species on 93% of survey days, with BPH rates peaking in the morning between 08:00 and 11:00 h. These results have important monitoring and conservation implications for this Critically Endangered species. In particular, the records of large aggregations in spatially restricted areas of the Western Channel during the inter-breeding period suggests the species could be vulnerable to impacts such as oil spills, or disturbance from offshore construction projects. We also provide evidence that some birds remain in the survey area during the breeding season, suggesting it may be an important site for non-breeding birds.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: June 2014
Published date: 31 July 2014
Keywords: Balearic shearwater, Puffinus mauretanicus, Spatio-temporal distribution, Visual monitoring, Critically Endangered, Western Channel, Conservation
Organisations: Ocean and Earth Science, Marine Geoscience

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 365527
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/365527
ISSN: 1863-5407
PURE UUID: e340d4b0-0b9c-4672-80f1-631ec026a599

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 09 Jun 2014 10:09
Last modified: 30 Sep 2019 18:56

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