Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Tagged Great Shearwaters fly from the North to the South Atlantic

Eight Great Shearwaters Ardenna gravis (Least Concern) are being satellite-tracked from the vicinity of Cape Cod in the North Atlantic by the USA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Tracks heading into the South Atlantic towards the birds’ breeding sites may be viewed here.  The sanctuary has tracked Great Shearwaters in previous years in order to study the movements, life cycle, and feeding and foraging habits of Great Shearwaters in the Gulf of Maine ecosystem.

“They want to find out what the shearwaters are doing in the Gulf of Maine, where they’re going, and then match up the birds with data on sand lances, water temperatures … .  When they tag the birds they take blood samples and sample the preen glands for toxins.”

Great Shearwater, photograph by John Graham

Read more about the research here.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 21 August 2018