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Artificial burrows as a tool for long-term studies of diving petrels

journal contribution
posted on 2020-01-01, 00:00 authored by Aymeric Fromant, C M Miskelly, John ArnouldJohn Arnould, C A Bost
Long-term studies are essential to determine demographic parameters and population trends in seabirds. However, studies to date have focused mainly on the larger and accessible species. While small seabirds (< 200 g) play a major role in marine ecosystems, their nesting habitat, which is typically fragile convoluted burrows, largely preclude long-term surveys. This study evaluated the installation of artificial burrows as a tool to facilitate ongoing long-term research on small burrowing seabirds. We tested the use and acceptance of artificial burrows during the chick-rearing period of common diving petrels (Pelecanoides urinatrix) on Mayes Island, Kerguelen Archipelago, southern Indian Ocean. The growth rate, mass at fledging and fledging rate of chicks were similar between artificial and natural burrows. Similarly, there was no difference in occupancy rate 1 and 2 years after artificial burrows were installed. The installation of artificial burrows during the chick-rearing period of a small burrowing seabird appears to be an effective way to facilitate ongoing monitoring and research and, therefore, we recommend the wider use of artificial burrows to facilitate monitoring and research of other small burrow-nesting procellariiform species.

History

Journal

Polar biology

Volume

43

Pagination

435 - 442

Publisher

Springer

Location

Berlin, Germany

ISSN

0722-4060

eISSN

1432-2056

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal