Kerguelen Islands (kerguelen + island)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Field metabolic rates of black-browed albatrosses Thalassarche melanophrys during the incubation stage

Scott A. Shaffer
Field metabolic rates (FMR) and activity patterns of black-browed albatrosses Thalassarche melanophrys were measured while at sea and on nest during the incubation stage at Kerguelen Island, southwestern Indian Ocean. Activity-specific metabolic rates of five albatrosses at sea (FMRat-sea) were measured using doubly labeled water (DLW), and by equipping birds with wet-dry activity data loggers that determined when birds were in flight or on the water. The metabolic rates of four birds incubating their eggs (FMRon-nest) were also measured using DLW. The mean±SD FMRat-sea of albatrosses was 611±96 kJ kg,1 d,1 compared to FMRon-nest of 196±52 kJ kg,1 d,1. While at sea, albatrosses spent 52.9±8.2% (N=3) of their time in flight and they landed on the water 41.2±13.9 times per day. The FMR of black-browed albatrosses appear to be intermediate to that of three other albatross species. Based on at-sea activity, the power requirement of flight was estimated to be 8.7 W kg,1 (or 4.0×predicted BMR), which is high compared to other albatross species, but may be explained by the high activity levels of the birds when at sea. The FMRat-sea of albatrosses, when scaled with body mass, are lower than other seabirds of similar body size, which probably reflects the economical nature of their soaring flight. [source]

Penguins as oceanographers unravel hidden mechanisms of marine productivity

Jean-Benoît Charrassin
ABSTRACT A recent concept for investigating marine ecosystems is to employ diving predators as cost-effective, autonomous samplers of environmental parameters (such as sea-temperature). Using king penguins during their foraging trips at sea, we obtained an unprecedented high resolution temperature map at depth off the Kerguelen Islands, Southern Ocean, a poorly sampled but productive area. We found clear evidence of a previously unknown subsurface tongue of cold water, flowing along the eastern shelf break. These new results provide a better understanding of regional water circulation and help explain the high primary productivity above the Kerguelen Plateau. [source]

What can otolith examination tell us about the level of perturbations of Salmonid fish from the Kerguelen Islands?

F. Morat
Abstract,,, Otoliths preserve a continuous record of the life cycle from the natal through the adult stage. For that reason, the morphological and chemical characteristics of otoliths of two nonnative Salmonids, brown trout (Salmo trutta) and brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis) from populations on the Kerguelen Islands were compared. Several approaches were used to study the relationships between otolith morphometry, crystal morph and chemical elemental composition. These salmonids sampled in Kerguelen are well differentiated in terms of species through their otolith shape. The results indicate that ecotypes and river populations can be reasonably well differentiated on the basis of otolith shape. The crystallisation study has revealed the presence of a particular form: the vaterite, present at a high rate: 45% of S. fontinalis and 18% from Salmo trutta fario. Moreover, vaterite and aragonite otoliths presented differences in chemical composition. [source]

Combined effects of fisheries and climate on a migratory long-lived marine predator

V. Rolland
Summary 1The impact of climate on marine ecosystems is now well documented, but remains complex. Climate change may interact with human activities to effect population dynamics. In addition, in migratory species conditions are different between the breeding and wintering grounds, resulting in more complex dynamics. All these possible effects should be considered to predict the future of endangered species, but very few studies have investigated such combined interactions. 2As a case study, we assessed the relative impact of fisheries and of oceanographic conditions in breeding and wintering sites on adult survival and breeding success of a population of the endangered black-browed albatross Thalassarche melanophrys in the Kerguelen Islands, Southern Indian Ocean. This study was based on long-term monitoring of individually marked individuals (1979,2005) and identification by tracking studies and band recoveries of the oceanic feeding zones used during breeding and non-breeding seasons. 3Breeding success was variable until 1997 and then declined gradually, from 0·88 to 0·48 chicks per egg laid. It was favoured by positive sea-surface temperature anomalies (SSTA) and trawl fishery during the breeding period, whereas it was negatively affected by positive SSTA around Tasmania, where the species winters. Adult survival was 0·918 ± 0·004 on average and increased with SSTA during incubation, but decreased significantly with high tuna longlining effort in the wintering zone. 4Our analyses show that demographic parameters were influenced by both climate and fisheries in both breeding and wintering grounds, but with different effect size. Black-browed albatross breeding success was more favoured by trawlers' offal and discards than by any of the seasonally/spatially oceanographic conditions, whereas their survival was equally affected by tuna longline fishery through incidental by-catch and spring SSTA. 5Synthesis and applications. Our work underlines that a comprehensive knowledge of the life history of a species in all the habitats used is important to disentangle the respective roles of environmental conditions and human factors on population dynamics. Identification of these effects is required when proposing effective conservation measures, because the conservation of threatened species may depend on their wintering country's exclusive economic zones. [source]

Estimates of population size of white-chinned petrels and grey petrels at Kerguelen Islands and sensitivity to fisheries

C. Barbraud
Abstract White-chinned petrels Procellaria aequinoctialis and grey petrels Procellaria cinerea are among the most frequently killed seabird species by accidental bycatch, and both species have received strong conservation concern. Data on population size are required to evaluate the impact of bycatch and to establish management plans. We estimated the population size of both species at Kerguelen, Southern Indian Ocean, from 2004 to 2006 by explicitly taking into account detection probability of burrows using distance sampling and burrow occupancy. A total of 31 line-transects were distributed across the eastern part of Kerguelen, representing a total length of 566 km. Detectability was low (from 0.19 to 0.54 for white-chinned petrels, 0.58 for grey petrels). Burrow densities varied from 1.37±0.67 to 25.77±5.23 burrows ha,1 for white-chinned petrels and was 2.78±0.79 burrows ha,1 for grey petrels. For white-chinned petrels, these densities were extrapolated to the entire surface area of vegetation and there were 234 000 (186 000,297 000) active burrows on Kerguelen. For grey petrels, the number of active burrows for the eastern part of Kerguelen was 3400 (1900,5600). Based on these estimates, the potential biological removal method suggests that the additional mortality on birds caused by the fisheries operating around Kerguelen can be considered a serious threat for the species at least at the regional scale of the Southern Indian Ocean, especially for grey petrels. [source]