Satellite telemetry was used to identify the foraging distributions of three congeneric species of albatrosses that nest in the tropics/subtropics. Breeding waved albatrosses Phoebastria irrorata from the Galápagos Islands travelled to the productive upwelling near the Peruvian coast and nearby areas during the rearing period in 1996. Black-footed albatrosses P. nigripes and Laysan albatrosses P. immutabilis nesting in the Hawaiian Islands and tracked during the 1997–98 and 1998–99 breeding seasons also performed long foraging trips, to continental shelf areas of North America. In both years, breeding black-footed albatrosses made long trips to the west coast of North America (British Columbia to California). In 1997–98, breeding Laysan albatrosses travelled primarily to the north of the Hawaiian Islands and reached the waters of the Aleutian Islands and the Gulf of Alaska. In 1998–99, Laysan albatrosses had a complete breeding failure, and no long trips by breeders were tracked as a result. These three species mixed short and long trips during the chick-rearing period, but not the brooding period nor incubation period. Waved albatrosses made only long trips during the incubation period. Analysis of movement patterns showed that the core feeding areas during long trips were located over the continental shelves of North and South America. The data on foraging biology of these species have implications for assessing bycatch risk in commercial fisheries.
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