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TAKING THE PLUNGE: COMPARING DIVING BEHAVIOR OF TWO SYMPATRIC TROPICAL SEABIRDS

Released: 2016
Citation:
Czapanskiy, M, JJ Felis, J Adams, B Henry, E Kelsey. 2016. TAKING THE PLUNGE: COMPARING DIVING BEHAVIOR OF TWO SYMPATRIC TROPICAL SEABIRDS. 43rd Annual Meeting Pacific Seabird Group, Oahu HI. 10-13 February 2016

Projected global growth of the offshore wind energy industry underscores the need for information on risks posed to seabirds. In the Pacific Ocean, there are few data on the impacts to seabirds. To better understand potential risks of wind farms offshore of the Main Hawaiian Islands (MHI), we tracked breeding seabirds from multiple colonies with GPS loggers and temperature-depth recorders (TDRs) from 2013 -2015. Here we present diving behavior data of sympatric breeding Red-footed (Sula sula) and Brown (S. leucogaster) boobies from Lehua Islet (32 km west of Kaua'i). We recovered GPS and TDR data from 36 Brown Boobies and 76 Red-footed Boobies. Deployments averaged 5.2 days and we identified ~9,000 dives. Results show Brown Boobies dove more frequently and to greater depths than Red-footed Boobies. Although the Brown Boobies' dive frequency was more consistent across trips and individuals, their dive depths revealed greater variability. When combined with our GPS tracking data, these results will identify important foraging locations to better assist future marine spatial planning around MHI, and decrease risks associated with offshore wind energy development.


This product is associated with the following project:
Seabird Vulnerability Assessment for Renewable Energy Projects

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