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Pelagic seabird surveys in the Tuamotu and Gambier Archipelagos, French Polynesia

Marine Ornithology

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Abstract

We conducted pelagic seabird surveys in the Gambier and Tuamotu Archipelagos in the southeastern Pacific Ocean totaling 40 hours during 7-27 March 2003 and 22.5 hours during 22-27 July 2001. We used a 300-m-wide strip transect to estimate seabird density, and we estimated relative abundance of birds at all distances. In 2001, we observed a total of 326 birds of 18 species. The mean relative abundance of all birds was 14.3 ?? 3.1/h. Red-footed Booby Sula sula was the most abundant species (5.6/h), followed by White Tern Gygis alba (3.4/h), and Great Crested or Swift Tern Sterna bergii (1.2/h). In 2003, we observed a total of 1463 birds of 25 species. The mean relative abundance of all birds was 36.6 ?? 11.4/h and the mean density of all birds was 4.14 ?? 0.72/km2. Brown Noddy Anous stolidus was the most abundant species (17.6/h, 1.5/km2), followed by White Tern (8.4/h, 1.3/km2), and Red-footed Booby (4.6/h, 0.8/km2). Several globally or locally rare species were observed infrequently, including Phoenix Petrel Pterodroma alba (0.1/h, 0.03/km2). Distribution of birds was uneven, with long periods of no birds punctuated by occasional feeding flocks. In 2003, species diversity was related to length of observation period, with more species observed on longer segments (r2 = 0.58, F1.5 = 6.03, P = 0.05). Although the duration and extent of our surveys were limited, these data are valuable because little published information is available on pelagic seabirds in southeastern Polynesia.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Pelagic seabird surveys in the Tuamotu and Gambier Archipelagos, French Polynesia
Series title:
Marine Ornithology
Volume
34
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2006
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Marine Ornithology
First page:
65
Last page:
70
Number of Pages:
6