Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Newell’s Shearwaters breeding on Kaua’i feed squid and flying fish to their young

David Ainley (H.T. Harvey & Associates Ecological Consultants, Los Gatos, California, USA) and colleagues have published in the open-access journal Marine Ornithology on stomach analyses of fledgling Newell’s Shearwaters Puffinus newelli found beneath power lines on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i.

 

Newell's Shearwater, photograph by Eric Vanderwwerf

The Endangered shearwater’s diet was dominated by ommastrephid squid, although it appears digestion had reduced the role of some other prey species, notably flying fish Exocoetus spp.. The paper concludes:  “Much remains to be learned about the at-sea ecology of the Newell’s Shearwater and how it is affected by fishing, a task made increasingly difficult owing to the continued steep decline in this species’ population on Kaua’i and elsewhere in Hawai’i.”

Reference:

Ainley, D.G., Walker, W.A., Gregory C. Spencer, G.C. & Holmes, N.D. 2014.  The prey of Newell’s Shearwater Puffinus newelli in Hawaiian waters.  Marine Ornithology 44: 69-72.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 12 June 2014

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