Age specific differentiation in foraging ecology and space use in Northern gannets assessed by stable isotope analysis
Jana WE Jeglinski1, Ruedi Nager1, Steve Votier2 and Rona McGill3
1 Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine IBAHCM, University of Glasgow, UK
2 Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
3 Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre SUERC, East Kilbride, UK
Little is known about the foraging ecology and space use of immature seabirds, despite the high relevance of the pre-breeding period for the dynamics of seabird populations. Adult seabirds are central place foragers, tied to the vicinity of the breeding colony by the necessity of feeding a dependent chick. In contrast, immature seabirds are known to prospect various colonies during the breeding season, possibly collecting information in support of the decision making process on where to breed. Thus the motivation for moving about and the resulting patterns of space use and foraging ecology are likely very different between adult and immature seabirds.
In collaboration with the Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre SUERC, we aim to compare the foraging ecology and space use of immature and adult Northern gannets on a metapopulation scale, using stable isotope analysis, to contribute to filling the gap in our understanding of the spatial and foraging ecology of immature seabirds.
First published: 1 February 2016