ESR 29:23-33 (2015)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00697

First satellite tracks of the Endangered black-capped petrel

Patrick G. R. Jodice1,*, Robert A. Ronconi2, Ernst Rupp3, George E. Wallace4, Yvan Satgé5

1US Geological Survey, South Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, G27 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, USA
2Department of Biology, Dalhousie University, 1355 Oxford Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 4R2, Canada
3Grupo Jaragua, El Vergel 33, Santo Domingo 10107, Dominican Republic
4American Bird Conservancy, 4249 Loudoun Avenue, The Plains, Virginia 20198, USA
5Department of Forestry and Environmental Conservation, G27 Lehotsky Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina 29634, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: The black-capped petrel Pterodroma hasitata is an endangered seabird with fewer than 2000 breeding pairs restricted to a few breeding sites in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. To date, use areas at sea have been determined entirely from vessel-based surveys and opportunistic sightings and, as such, spatial and temporal gaps in our understanding of the species’ marine range are likely. To enhance our understanding of marine use areas, we deployed satellite tags on 3 black-capped petrels breeding on Hispaniola, representing the first tracking study for this species and one of the first published tracking studies for any breeding seabird in the Caribbean. During chick rearing, petrels primarily used marine habitats in the southern Caribbean Sea (ca. 18.0° to 11.5°N, 70.0° to 75.5°W) between the breeding site and the coasts of Venezuela and Colombia. Maximum distance from the breeding sites ranged from ca. 500 to 1500 km during the chick-rearing period. During the post-breeding period, each bird dispersed north and used waters west of the Gulf Stream offshore of the mid- and southern Atlantic coasts of the USA as well as Gulf Stream waters and deeper pelagic waters east of the Gulf Stream. Maximum distance from the breeding sites ranged from ca. 2000 to 2200 km among birds during the nonbreeding period. Petrels used waters located within 14 different exclusive economic zones, suggesting that international collaboration will benefit the development of management strategies for this species.


KEY WORDS: Black-capped petrel · Pterodroma hasitata · Satellite telemetry · Migration · Caribbean Sea · Western North Atlantic Ocean


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Cite this article as: Jodice PGR, Ronconi RA, Rupp E, Wallace GE, Satgé Y (2015) First satellite tracks of the Endangered black-capped petrel. Endang Species Res 29:23-33. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr00697

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