Foraging behaviour and habitat selection of the little penguin Eudyptula minor during early chick rearing in Bass Strait, Australia

Hoskins, Andrew J., Dann, Peter, Ropert-Coudert, Yan, Kato, Akiko, Chiaradia, André, Costa, Daniel P. and Arnould, John P. Y. 2008, Foraging behaviour and habitat selection of the little penguin Eudyptula minor during early chick rearing in Bass Strait, Australia, Marine ecology - progress series, vol. 366, pp. 293-303.

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Title Foraging behaviour and habitat selection of the little penguin Eudyptula minor during early chick rearing in Bass Strait, Australia
Formatted title Foraging behaviour and habitat selection of the little penguin Eudyptula minor during early chick rearing in Bass Strait, Australia
Author(s) Hoskins, Andrew J.
Dann, Peter
Ropert-Coudert, Yan
Kato, Akiko
Chiaradia, André
Costa, Daniel P.
Arnould, John P. Y.
Journal name Marine ecology - progress series
Volume number 366
Start page 293
End page 303
Publisher Inter-Research
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publication date 2008
ISSN 0171-8630
1616-1599
Keyword(s) compositional analysis
diving
coastal ecosystem
nearshore habitats
sea surface temperature
seabird
Summary Knowledge of the foraging areas of top marine predators and the factors influencing them is central to understanding how their populations respond to environmental variability. While there is a large body of literature documenting the association of air-breathing marine vertebrates with areas of high marine productivity, there is relatively little information for species restricted to near-shore or continental-shelf areas. Differences in foraging range and diving behaviour of the little penguin Eudyptula minor were examined from 3 breeding colonies (Rabbit Island, Kanowna Island and Phillip Island) in central northern Bass Strait, southeast Australia, during the chick-guard stage using electronic tags (platform terminal transmitters, PTTs, and time-depth recorders, TDRs). Although there were large overall differences between individuals, the mean maximum foraging range (16.9 to 19.8 km) and mean total distance travelled (41.8 to 48.0 km) were similar between the 3 colonies, despite different bathymetric environments. Individuals from all 3 colonies selected foraging habitats within a narrow sea surface temperature (SST) range (16.0 to 16.4°C). While there were significant differences in mean dive depths (5.4 to 10.9 m) and mean durations (13.2 to 28.6 s) between the different colonies, the mean diving effort (vertical distance travelled: 936.3 to 964.3 m h–1) was similar. These findings suggest little penguins from the 3 colonies employ relatively similar foraging efforts yet are plastic in their foraging behaviours.
Language eng
Field of Research 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology)
Socio Economic Objective 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2008
Copyright notice ©2008, Inter-Research
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30017879

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