Foraging behaviour of a declining population of Brown Boobies (Sula leucogaster) breeding in the Swain Reefs, Great Barrier Reef

Bunce, Ashley (2015) Foraging behaviour of a declining population of Brown Boobies (Sula leucogaster) breeding in the Swain Reefs, Great Barrier Reef. Emu, 115 4: 368-372. doi:10.1071/MU14037


Author Bunce, Ashley
Title Foraging behaviour of a declining population of Brown Boobies (Sula leucogaster) breeding in the Swain Reefs, Great Barrier Reef
Journal name Emu   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1448-5540
0158-4197
Publication date 2015-05-26
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/MU14037
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 115
Issue 4
Start page 368
End page 372
Total pages 5
Place of publication Clayton, Victoria, Australia
Publisher CSIRO Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The Great Barrier Reef supports significant breeding populations of tropical seabirds; however, recent evidence has indicated declines in seabird populations across some of the most important breeding sites. Evidence for the cause of these significant declines is lacking but is generally thought to result from inadequate food supplies caused by warmer sea surface temperatures associated with climate change. This paper provides the first detailed investigation into the foraging behaviour of Brown Boobies (Sula leucogaster), a species considered to be more susceptible to climate change impacts due to reduced foraging ranges. Fifteen complete foraging trips were recorded from five individuals (three males, two females). Adults typically foraged in shallow inshore reef waters and the mean foraging trip duration was 6.8 ± 2.8 h with a mean foraging range of 14.5 ± 10.1 km and the total distance travelled being 49.5 ± 30.3 km per trip. While most foraging trips occurred during daylight hours, five (33%) trips recorded periods spent at sea at night. The preliminary results presented here suggest that further research across widely dispersed breeding sites and different species investigating the potential drivers of seabird declines in the Great Barrier Reef is warranted.
Keyword Brown Booby
Climate change
Foraging behaviour
Population decline
Sula leucogaster
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
 
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