Black-browed Albatrosses forage inshore in Tierra del Fuego, Chile

Javier Arata (Instituto Antártico Chileno, Punta Arenas, Chile) and colleagues write in the journal Polar Biology on inshore foraging by Black-browed Albatrosses Thalassarche melanophris that breed within Admiralty Sound, Tierra del Fuego.

The paper’s abstract follows:

“Black-browed albatrosses are the most abundant albatross species of the southern hemisphere, breeding on sub-Antarctic and Antarctic oceanic islands around the globe.  Their foraging habitat during the breeding season is reasonably well known along its distributional range, indicating a preferred use of waters <500 m deep.  The discovery of a colony inserted within the Admiralty Sound, Tierra del Fuego, poses an interesting challenge to the known precepts on foraging behavior for the species.  In this study, we present the first record on the foraging distribution of the only known inner-channel colony of albatrosses in the world, using high-resolution GPS loggers.  Black-browed albatrosses breeding at the Albatross Islet used exclusively inner-channel waters, at least during the chick-guard stage.  Our results indicate a significant smaller foraging range during chick-guard compared with conspecifics from Diego Ramirez and Falklands/Malvinas Islands.  Implications for the conservation of this colony are discussed.”


Black-browed Albatross, photograph by Genevieve Jones


Arata, J., Vila, A.J., Matus, R., Droguett, D., Silva-Quintas, C., Falabella, V., Robertson, G. & Haro, D. 2014.  Use and exploitation of channel waters by the black-browed albatross.  Polar Biology DOI 10.1007/s00300-014-1458-1.

John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 26 February 2014

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