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The influence of age on reproductive success and diet in Australasian gannets (Morus Serrator) breeding at Pope's Eye, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria

Pyk, T. M., Bunce, A and Norman, F. I. 2007, The influence of age on reproductive success and diet in Australasian gannets (Morus Serrator) breeding at Pope's Eye, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australian journal of zoology, vol. 55, no. 5, pp. 267-274, doi: 10.1071/ZO06088.

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Title The influence of age on reproductive success and diet in Australasian gannets (Morus Serrator) breeding at Pope's Eye, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria
Author(s) Pyk, T. M.
Bunce, A
Norman, F. I.
Journal name Australian journal of zoology
Volume number 55
Issue number 5
Start page 267
End page 274
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Place of publication Collingwood, Vic.
Publication date 2007
ISSN 0004-959X
1446-5698
Summary The influence of age on reproductive success and diet was examined in ‘old’ (experienced; 12 years and older) and ‘young’ (5–8 years of age) Australasian gannets (Morus serrator) breeding at Pope’s Eye, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria during the 2002–2003 breeding period. Although food availability, as indicated by commercial fish catches, throughout this breeding period was low, there were no significant differences in breeding success or chick growth between groups. Nevertheless, old birds tended to have higher reproductive success, replacing more lost eggs and fledging chicks of a greater mass. However, old birds also laid more eggs that failed to hatch. Five fish species, including jack mackerel (Trachurus declivis), barracouta (Thyrsites atun), redbait (Emmelichthys nitidus), anchovy (Engraulis australis) and red mullet (Upeneichthys vlamingii), were important in the gannet diet during this breeding period. There were no significant differences in dietary parameters, including range of species and size of prey, between old and young gannets, nor were there any differences between those of the chicks and their parents, suggesting that adults do not forage selectively for their chicks. This study showed that even during a period of presumed low food availability, when experienced (older) birds might be expected to have enhanced success, the differences between these and less experienced (younger) birds may not be apparent.
Language eng
DOI 10.1071/ZO06088
Field of Research 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©CSIRO, 2007
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30007729

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Life and Environmental Sciences
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