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Migratory routes and wintering areas of Pink-footed Shearwaters (Ardenna creatopus)

Released: 2016
Felis, J, J Adams, R Carle, P Hodum, V Colodro, V López. 2016. Migratory routes and wintering areas of Pink-footed Shearwaters (Ardenna creatopus). 6th International Albatross and Petrel Conference (IPAC6), Barcelona, Spain. 19-23 September 2016. [presentation]

The Pink-footed Shearwater, Ardenna creatopus, is listed as in danger of extinction by Chile and under Annex 1 of ACAP, with an estimated global population of approximately 56,000 individuals. This species is an endemic breeder in Chile, but travels during migration as far north as the United States and Canada. We tracked A. creatopus post-breeding movements using satellite tags in order to identify important non-breeding areas at sea. We deployed satellite tags on shearwaters at breeding colonies in Chile (2006, n = 5; 2011, n = 9; 2013, n = 6; and 2015, n = 10 birds) and at non-breeding areas at sea off southern California (2009, n = 5; and 2013, n = 7 birds). Satellite tags typically transmitted for up to five months. The non-breeding period for A. creatopus lasted 6 months (May – October). Post-breeding adults exhibited two winter migration strategies: approximately 30% of tagged individuals traveled ~2500 km north from their colonies to winter off Peru and 70% traveled ~8000–11,000 km north to winter off western North America (Mexico to southernmost Canada). This division also was supported by stable isotope results from feathers grown by un-tagged birds during their non-breeding period. Individuals wintering in North America spent time off Peru on both legs of the migration (mean = 16 days each way). Although only 30% of individuals wintered off Peru, the population overall spends almost half the non-breeding period there when accounting for post- and pre-breeding stopovers together with cumulative time off North America; therefore, the ocean off Peru serves as a migratory bottleneck and is disproportionally important for the entire breeding population. High-use wintering areas included continental shelf and slope waters off Trujillo to Lima (Peru), central Baja California (Mexico), southern to central California (USA), and northern Oregon (USA) to southern Vancouver Island (Canada).

This product is associated with the following project:
Pacific Continental Shelf Environmental Assessment (PaCSEA)

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