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dc.contributor.authorFreeman, Amanda N. D.
dc.date.accessioned2008-02-19T03:15:50Z
dc.date.available2008-02-19T03:15:50Z
dc.date.issued1997
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10182/298
dc.description.abstractWestland petrels Procellaria westlandica breed only near Punakaiki on the West Coast of New Zealand. About 80 km offshore from their breeding colony, New Zealand's largest commercial fishery (for hoki Macruronus novaezelandiae) operates from mid June to early September, coinciding with the Westland petrel's breeding season. It has been assumed that Westland petrels feed extensively on fisheries waste and that this habit has been at least partly responsible for the increase in the Westland petrel population. Some seabird biologists have expressed concern that if a species comes to depend on scavenging at fishing vessels, such a species could experience a food crisis if fishing operations changed in a way that reduced the quantity of waste discharged. The aim of this research was to assess how dependent Westland petrels have become on fisheries waste for food. Diet studies showed that during the hoki fishing season, waste accounts for more than half by weight of the solid food Westland petrels bring back to the colony to feed their chicks. After the hoki season, waste contributes only about a quarter of their diet as birds switch to more natural prey and scavenge a wider variety of fish species presumably from smaller, inshore fishing vessels. Much of the fisheries waste eaten by Westland petrels was flesh which could not be identified using traditional techniques. The electrophoretic technique iso-electric focusing increased the number of fish samples that could be identified and consequently the diet was interpreted differently than it would have been had only traditional diet analysis been used. The survey of Westland petrel distribution off the west coast of the South Island, found that although hoki fishing vessels influence the distribution of Westland petrels, only a small proportion of the Westland petrel population appears to utilise this food resource at any one time. Westland petrels were tracked at sea by VHF radio telemetry and then by satellite tracking. Satellite tracking showed that there is considerable variation in the amount of time Westland petrels spend in the vicinity of fishing vessels. On average, satellite tracked birds spent one third of their time near vessels, but they foraged over much larger areas than that occupied by the West Coast South Island hoki fishing fleet. Although fisheries waste is an important component of the Westland petrel diet, it appears that the situation is one of opportunistic use of a readily available resource, rather than one of dependence. Several features of the Westland petrel's breeding biology and foraging ecology suggest that Westland petrels could compensate for a reduction in waste from the hoki fishery by switching to other sources of waste and increasing their consumption of natural prey. Nevertheless, much remains unanswered concerning the role of fisheries waste in the Westland petrel's diet. In particular, quantifying the waste available to seabirds, and the success of Westland petrels in acquiring that waste compared to other scavenging species, is needed in order to better predict the effect of a reduction in fisheries waste on Westland petrel population size.en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherLincoln Universityen
dc.rights.urihttps://researcharchive.lincoln.ac.nz/page/rights
dc.subjectWestland petrelen
dc.subjectProcellaria westlandicaen
dc.subjecthokien
dc.subjectMacruronus novaezelandiaeen
dc.subjectfisheries wasteen
dc.subjectdieten
dc.subjectpopulationen
dc.subjectdistributionen
dc.subjectiso-electric focusingen
dc.subjectsatellite trackingen
dc.subjectGeographic Information System (GIS)en
dc.titleThe importance of fisheries waste in the diet of Westland Petrels (Procellaria westlandica)en
dc.typeThesisen
thesis.degree.grantorLincoln Universityen
thesis.degree.levelDoctoralen
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophyen
dc.subject.marsdenFields of Research::270000 Biological Sciences::270700 Ecology and Evolutionen
dc.subject.marsdenFields of Research::300000 Agricultural, Veterinary and Environmental Sciences::300800 Environmental Science::300802 Wildlife and habitat managementen
lu.thesis.supervisorWilson, Kerry-Jayne
lu.thesis.supervisorPaterson, Adrian
lu.contributor.unitBio-Protection and Ecology Divisionen


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