Navigation Links
Antarctic albatross displays shift in breeding habits
Date:4/30/2012

A new study of the wandering albatross one of the largest birds on Earth has shown that some of the birds are breeding earlier in the season compared with 30 years ago.

Reporting online this month (April) in the journal Oikos, a British team of scientists describe how they studied the breeding habits of the wandering albatross on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. They have discovered that because some birds are now laying their eggs earlier, the laying date for the population is an average of 2.2 days earlier than before.

The researchers say the reasons for this change are unclear. Lead author Dr Sue Lewis at the University of Edinburgh's School of Biological Sciences said, "Our results are surprising. Every year we can determine when the birds return to the island after migration, and the exact day they lay their egg. We knew that some birds were laying earlier those who were older or had recently changed partner - but now we see that those which haven't bred successfully in the past are also laying earlier, and these birds are effectively driving this trend in earlier laying".

The researchers studied over 30 years of data from birds located near the British Antarctic Survey's research station on Bird Island (part of South Georgia). Nest sites were monitored daily during the pre-laying, laying, hatching and fledging periods to document breeding patterns.

Numbers of wandering albatrosses on South Georgia have been steadily declining largely because the birds swallow baited hooks on longlines set by fishing vessels, and are dragged under and drown. Despite a recent increase in breeding success over the last 20 years, the number of birds at Bird Island has fallen by over 50% since the 1960s, from 1700 to only 800 breeding pairs.

British Antarctic Survey bird ecologist Dr Richard Phillips, also an author on the paper said, "This work is important for understanding more about the behaviour of these charismatic and threatened birds. In the Indian Ocean, an increase in the intensity of westerly winds has resulted in a shift in feeding distribution of wandering albatrosses. It is possible that earlier breeding in some females at South Georgia is a consequence of environmental change, but at the moment we are not sure if this is related to weather, a change in oceanographic conditions or food availability to which only some birds are responding."

This research is a collaboration between the University of Edinburgh and British Antarctic Survey and was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).


'/>"/>

Contact: Athena Dinar
amdi@bas.ac.uk
44-122-322-1414
British Antarctic Survey
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. First comprehensive inventory of life in Antarctica
2. Global warming threatens Antarctic sea life
3. CO2 drop and global cooling caused Antarctic glacier to form
4. Final frontier: Mission to explore buried ancient Antarctic lake given green light
5. UK robot sub searches for signs of melting 60 km into an Antarctic ice shelf cavity
6. Ancient ecosystem thrives millions of years below Antarctic glacier
7. Unlikely life thriving at Antarcticas Blood Falls
8. Algae and pollen grains provide evidence of remarkably warm period in Antarcticas history
9. Antarctica glacier retreat creates new carbon dioxide store
10. LSU gets to the bottom of things -- in Antarctica
11. First comprehensive review of the state of Antarcticas climate
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has ... Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ,     ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics market ... the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is ... as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... physicians supporting Medicaid patients in Central Florida ... telehealth thanks to a new partnership with higi.   ... can routinely track key health measurements, such as blood ... they opt in, share them with IMPOWER clinicians through ... location at no cost. By leveraging this data, IMPOWER ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... discussions on a range of subjects including policies, debt and ... Poloz. Speaking at a lecture to the Canadian ... to the country,s inflation target, which is set by both ... "In certain areas there needs to be ... why not sit down and address strategy together?" ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Researchers at the Universita Politecnica ... in people with peritoneal or pleural mesothelioma. Their findings are the subject of a ... , Diagnostic biomarkers are signposts in the blood, lung fluid or tissue of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016   Boston Biomedical , an industry ... to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that its ... Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and Drug ... including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is an ... cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed ... to serve as their official health care provider. ... will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and ... volunteers, athletes and families. "We are ... and to bring Houston Methodist quality services and ...
Breaking Biology Technology: