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Migratory Routes and Wintering Areas of Pink-Footed Shearwaters (Ardenna creatopus)

Released: 2017
Felis, J., J. Adams, R. Carle, P. Hodum, V. Colodro, V. Lopez, S. Newsome. 2017. Migratory Routes and Wintering Areas of Pink-Footed Shearwaters (Ardenna creatopus). Pacific Seabird Group 44th Annual Meeting, Tacoma, WA. 22-25 February 2017.

The Pink-footed Shearwater (PFSH; Ardenna creatopus) is listed as in danger of extinction by Chile and under Annex 1 of the Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels (ACAP). This species is an endemic breeder in Chile, but travels during migration as far north as the United States and Canada. We tracked PFSH post-breeding movements using satellite tags to identify important non-breeding areas at sea. We deployed satellite tags on breeding PFSH at colonies in Chile (n=30, 2006-2015) and at non-breeding areas at sea off southern California (n=12, 2009-2013). During the six month non-breeding period (May–October), post-breeding adults exhibited two winter migration strategies: 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 during the 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 spent almost half the non-breeding period there when accounting for post- and pre-breeding stopovers together with cumulative time off North America; therefore, Peruvian waters serve as a migratory bottleneck and are 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:
Seabird Vulnerability Assessment for Renewable Energy Projects

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