Individual variability in seabird foraging and migration

Eleven foraging trips tracked with GPS devices on the same Cory's shearwater during the incubation period over 5 consecutive years (Image: Jose Manuel Reyes-González)

In seabirds, individuals show remarkable variation in foraging and migration strategies due to a combination of intrinsic state and environmental conditions experienced. Technological advances in recent years have seen an explosion of studies tracking individuals for extended periods, enabling among- and within-individual variation to be quantified in unprecedented detail.  These studies are providing fundamental insights into key factors such as individual specialisation, plasticity in response to environmental change, seasonal carry-over effects, navigation, habitat connectivity and the genetic basis of behaviour. Quantifying the intrinsic and environmental factors underpinning individual variation in foraging and migration is critical for understanding population dynamics and implementing effective conservation programmes. This Theme Section will showcase the latest research in this fast moving field, using a range of approaches including bio-logging, experimental manipulations and advanced modelling. Anyone interested in submitting to the TS should contact Jacob González-Solís.


Editors: J. González-Solís, R. A. Phillips, F. Daunt, S. Lewis, R. Wilson
Deadline for ms submission: end of April

Individual Theme Section articles are published 'Advance View' as soon as they are ready. Once the Theme Section is completed, they will be fully published in a regular volume of MEPS and given a volume number and page range. Theme Section literature cites within the articles will also be updated.


Krietsch J, Hahn S, Kopp M, Phillips RA, Peter HU, Lisovski S
Consistent variation in individual migration strategies of brown skuas
MEPS TS WSC av:1 | Full text in pdf format


van Bemmelen R, Moe B, Hanssen SA, Schmidt NM, Hansen J, Lang J, Sittler B,
Bollache L, Tulp I, Klaassen R, Gilg O

Flexibility in otherwise consistent non-breeding movements of a long-distance migratory seabird, the long-tailed skua
MEPS TS WSC av:2 | Full text in pdf format


Young RC, Orben RA, Will AP, Kitaysky AS
Relationship between telomere dynamics and movement and behavior during winter in the thick-billed murre
MEPS TS WSC av:3 | Full text in pdf format


Bogdanova MI, Butler A, Wanless S, Moe B, Anker-Nilssen T, Frederiksen M, Boulinier T, Chivers LS, Christensen-Dalsgaard S, Descamps S, Harris MP, Newell M, Olsen B, Phillips RA, Shaw D, Steen H, Strøm H, Thórarinsson TL, Daunt F
Multi-colony tracking reveals spatio-temporal variation in carry-over effects between breeding success and winter movements in a pelagic seabird
MEPS TS WSC av:4 | Full text in pdf format


Navarro J, Grémillet D, Ramirez FJ, Afán I, Bouten W, Forero MG

Shifting individual habitat specialization of a successful predator living in anthropogenic landscapes
MEPS TS WSC av:5 | Full text in pdf format


Camprasse ECM, Cherel Y, Bustamante P, Arnould JPY, Bost CA

Intra- and inter-individual variation in the foraging ecology of a generalist subantarctic seabird, the gentoo penguin
MEPS TS WSC av:6 | Full text in pdf format