Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Seabird’s Ocean Lifestyle Revealed

Date:
January 28, 2009
Source:
University of Oxford
Summary:
An important British seabird has been tracked for the first time using miniature positioning loggers. The results are giving zoologists information that could help conserve wildlife around Britain's shores.

Manx Shearwater at sea.
Credit: Photo copyright Dave Boyle, courtesy of University of Oxford

An important British seabird has been tracked for the first time using miniature positioning loggers. The results are giving a team led by Oxford University zoologists information that could help conserve wildlife around Britain’s shores.

The Manx Shearwater is a seabird that migrates 20,000km from the UK to South America and then back again across the Atlantic Ocean. The birds spend most of the lives at sea and nest in remote locations, only coming ashore at night, so their ocean-going lifestyle has always been something of a mystery.

In two studies the scientists used electronic logging tags to track the Shearwater’s migration and tiny GPS trackers, developed at Oxford University, to map the birds’ long foraging trips. They report their results in papers in Proceedings of the Royal Society B and the journal Ibis.

The results suggest that, during their long migration, all 12 of the birds studied had to make at least one stopover of up to two weeks to ‘refuel’ – behaviour not normally associated with birds that migrate over open seas. They also showed that their migration route takes them further south than had been thought.

'By making stop-overs these 400g birds would not have to carry extra weight, in the form of fat, for the first part of their epic journey as they would if they flew to South America direct,’ said Professor Tim Guilford, from Oxford’s Department of Zoology who led the Oxford team.

The researchers also found that in the two weeks prior to laying their single large egg, female Shearwaters journeyed to distant waters south west of Britain, probably to exploit rich fishing near the continental shelf break. Males stayed nearer their Pembrokeshire colony during breeding: both males and females depend heavily on fisheries within the Irish Sea.

‘In some ways protecting nesting sites on land is easy, what our results shows is that we also need to think about how to protect feeding areas at sea – something which is much more of a challenge,’ said Professor Guilford.

Scientists believe that monitoring wild seabird populations is increasingly important as they are particularly sensitive to environmental change and give an indication of the health of our oceans.

The team included researchers from Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science, Microsoft Research Cambridge, British Antarctic Survey, Skomer Island National Nature Reserve, and the University of Sheffield. The technical development work was supported by Oxford’s John Fell Fund.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Oxford. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. T. Guilford et al. Migration and stopover in a small pelagic seabird, the Manx shearwater Puffinus puffinus: insights from machine learning. Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Jan 13, 2009 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.1577

Cite This Page:

University of Oxford. "Seabird’s Ocean Lifestyle Revealed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 January 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126162256.htm>.
University of Oxford. (2009, January 28). Seabird’s Ocean Lifestyle Revealed. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126162256.htm
University of Oxford. "Seabird’s Ocean Lifestyle Revealed." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090126162256.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A giant wall of dust slowly moves north over the Phoenix area after a summer monsoon thunderstorm. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Rare Lemur Among Baby Animals Debuted at Cleveland Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A rare baby Lemur is among several baby animals getting their public debut at a Cleveland zoo. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins