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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 599:253-266 (2018)  -  DOI:

How the future climate may modulate the non-breeding distribution of a Vulnerable gadfly petrel

Lucas Krüger1,3,*, Jorge M. Pereira1, Iván Ramírez2, Jaime A. Ramos1, Vitor H. Paiva1

1MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Coimbra, Departamento de Ciências da Vida, Rua da Matemática 49, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal
2BirdLife International, The David Attenborough Building, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QZ, UK
3Present address: Instituto Antártico Chileno, Plaza Muñoz Gamero 1055, Punta Arenas 620000, Chile
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: Understanding biodiversity distribution shifts caused by climate change is one of the top conservation concerns in modern biology. In this study, we entered 8 yr of geolocation tracking data of the single-island endemic and threatened Desertas petrel Pterodroma deserta into a species distribution model and quantified the species-habitat relationship and how its current wintering areas could change as a result of new climatic conditions. Our model found that the species’ range would increase 430.6 ± (SD) 57.8% in future scenarios compared to its current range, as long as the species is able to reach all of the new areas identified by the models. However, the suitability of current wintering areas in the Cape Verde Islands and on the US east coast would decrease 52.8 ± 4.4% as a consequence of the predicted windier conditions. The Desertas petrel has a small population size (160-180 pairs) and is considered ‘Vulnerable’ according to IUCN criteria, and individuals show high inter-annual site-fidelity to their wintering grounds. Our findings raise conservation concerns about the future of this species, which might heavily depend on the flexibility of adults and the capacity of future generations to disperse and use new wintering areas.

KEY WORDS: Desertas petrel · Ensemble species distribution modelling · Environmental changes · Representative concentration pathways · Pterodroma deserta

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Cite this article as: Krüger L, Pereira JM, Ramí­rez I, Ramos JA, Paiva VH (2018) How the future climate may modulate the non-breeding distribution of a Vulnerable gadfly petrel. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 599:253-266.

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