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ESR 45:337-356 (2021)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/esr01139

Marine distribution and foraging habitat highlight potential threats at sea for the Endangered Bermuda petrel Pterodroma cahow

André F. Raine1,*, Carina Gjerdrum2, Isabeau Pratte2, Jeremy Madeiros3, Jonathan J. Felis4, Josh Adams4

1Archipelago Research and Conservation, Kauai, Hawai’i 96716, USA
2Canadian Wildlife Service, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia B2Y 2N6, Canada
3Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Ministry of Home Affairs, Botanical Gardens, 169 South Road, Paget DV04, Bermuda
4US Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center, Santa Cruz Field Station, Santa Cruz, California 95060, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Marine spatial planning relies on detailed spatial information of marine areas to ensure effective conservation of species. To enhance our understanding of marine habitat use by the highly pelagic Bermuda petrel Pterodroma cahow, we deployed GPS tags on 6 chick-rearing adults in April 2019 and constructed a habitat suitability model using locations classified as foraging to explore functional responses to a selection of marine environmental variables. We defined 15 trips for 5 individuals, ranging from 1-6 trips per bird, that included both short and long foraging excursions indicative of a dual foraging strategy that optimizes chick feeding and self maintenance. The maximum distance birds flew from Bermuda during foraging trips ranged from 61 to 2513 km (total trip lengths: 186-14051 km). Behaviourally deduced foraging habitat was best predicted at shorter distances from the colony, under warmer sea surface temperature, greater sea surface height, and in deeper water compared to transiting locations; our model results indicated that suitable foraging habitat exists beyond the core home range of the population, as far north as the highly productive Gulf Stream frontal system, and within the territorial waters of both the USA and Canada. Our results are crucial to inform management decisions and international conservation efforts by better identifying potential threats encountered at sea by this globally rare seabird and highlighting jurisdictions potentially responsible for mitigating those threats.


KEY WORDS: Pterodroma cahow · Foraging behaviour · Marine habitat suitability · GPS tracking · Marine threats · Marine conservation


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Cite this article as: Raine AF, Gjerdrum C, Pratte I, Madeiros J, Felis JJ, Adams J (2021) Marine distribution and foraging habitat highlight potential threats at sea for the Endangered Bermuda petrel Pterodroma cahow. Endang Species Res 45:337-356. https://doi.org/10.3354/esr01139

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