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Spatio-temporal variation in the diet of Cory’s shearwater Calonectris diomedea in the Azores archipelago, northeast Atlantic

Autores: Verónica Neves, Dirk Nolf,Malcolm Clarke

Keywords: Cranchiidae; Blue jack mackerel; Diet; Histioteuthidae; Oceanic cephalopods; Procellariiformes; Top predator


Link: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0967063712001707


Resumo
The diet of Cory’s shearwater Calonectris diomedea in the Azores was studied in four islands of the archipelago over four breeding seasons, using stomach flushings from 959 birds. Fish were identified from flesh, otoliths and vertebrae and cephalopods from flesh and lower beaks. The frequency of occurrence of prey taxa, and the numerical frequency of fish and cephalopods, showed marked variations both spatially, across the breeding cycle and between years. Overall, cephalopods from 37 species representing 17 families and fish from 33 species representing 18 families were identified, representing over 70 prey species and trebling what was previously known. Histioteuthidae, Ommastrephidae and Cranchiidae were the only cephalopod families present every year and represented two thirds of the cephalopods’ consumption by number. Blue jack mackerel Trachurus picturatus was the most abundant prey species present in 1998 and 2002 but was absent in 1999 and 2000, representing on average 57.2% of prey by number in the years it occurred. Apart from blue jack mackerel, most fish species were present in very low numbers with the exception of Cubiceps gracilis, Scomberesox saurus and Maurolicus muellerii. Diaphus adenomus, was recorded for the first time for the Azores archipelago.

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