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Temporal and spatial differences in the post-breeding behaviour of a ubiquitous Southern Hemisphere seabird, the common diving petrel: Variation in post-breeding behaviour

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posted on 2020-11-18, 00:00 authored by Aymeric FromantAymeric Fromant, C A Bost, P Bustamante, A Carravieri, Y Cherel, K Delord, Yonina Hannah EizenbergYonina Hannah Eizenberg, C M Miskelly, John ArnouldJohn Arnould
The non-breeding period plays a major role in seabird survival and population dynamics. However, our understanding of the migratory behaviour, moulting and feeding strategies of non-breeding seabirds is still very limited, especially for small-sized species. The present study investigated the post-breeding behaviour of three distant populations (Kerguelen Archipelago, southeastern Australia, New Zealand) of the common diving petrel (CDP) (Pelecanoides urinatrix), an abundant, widely distributed zooplanktivorous seabird breeding throughout the southern Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. The timing, geographical destination and activity pattern of birds were quantified through geolocator deployments during the post-breeding migration, while moult pattern of body feathers was investigated using stable isotope analysis. Despite the high energetic cost of flapping flight, all the individuals quickly travelled long distances (greater than approx. 2500 km) after the end of the breeding season, targeting oceanic frontal systems. The three populations, however, clearly diverged spatially (migration pathways and destinations), and temporally (timing and duration) in their post-breeding movements, as well as in their period of moult. Philopatry to distantly separated breeding grounds, different breeding phenologies and distinct post-breeding destinations suggest that the CDP populations have a high potential for isolation, and hence, speciation. These results contribute to improving knowledge of ecological divergence and evolution between populations, and inform the challenges of conserving migratory species.



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C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article