Spatial overlaps of foraging and resting areas of black-legged kittiwakes breeding in the English Channel with existing marine protected areas

Aurore Ponchon* (Corresponding Author), Christophe Aulert, Gilles Le Guillou, Fabrice Gallien, Clara Peron, David Gremillet

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The English Channel is one of the most anthropized marine ecosystems due to increasing human pressures, both along the coasts and at sea. Numerous marine protected areas (MPAs) have been created in this area but their ecological relevance still needs to be demonstrated for mobile species such as seabirds. Here, we identified the at-sea foraging and resting areas of black-legged kittiwakes to quantify their spatial overlap with existing neighbouring MPAs. Using solar-powered GPS-UHF, we tracked at-sea trips of 36 kittiwakes breeding at three colonies along the French coasts of the English Channel: Boulogne-sur-Mer (Hauts-de-France, n = 11), Fecamp (Normandy, n = 14) and Saint-Pierre-du-Mont (Normandy, n = 11). While kittiwakes nesting at the two Normand colonies shared some of their foraging areas, birds from Boulogne-sur-Mer did not overlap their foraging areas with Normand birds. GPS-tracked birds from all three colonies remained close to the shore (<30 km) and mainly remained within French national waters. The existing MPA network encompassed > 60% of all recorded locations, but MPA use was largely colony-specific. Habitat models built to predict habitat suitability confirmed that some MPAs encompassed highly suitable foraging and resting habitats for black-legged kittiwakes in the English Channel. Connectivity between the studied colonies was high, as indicated by inter-colony prospecting movements recorded in two individuals which supposedly failed their reproduction. Overall, this work highlights that marine species such as seabirds could benefit from existing MPAs. Nevertheless, the diversity of MPA types and their different roles complicates their effectiveness to protect marine biodiversity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119
Number of pages14
JournalMarine Biology
Volume164
Issue number5
Early online date2 May 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2017

Keywords

  • RISSA-TRIDACTYLA
  • PROSPECTING MOVEMENTS
  • SPECIES DISTRIBUTIONS
  • HABITAT SELECTION
  • GPS-TRACKING
  • CAPE GANNETS
  • NORTH-SEA
  • LONG-TERM
  • SEABIRDS
  • INSIGHTS

Cite this

Spatial overlaps of foraging and resting areas of black-legged kittiwakes breeding in the English Channel with existing marine protected areas. / Ponchon, Aurore (Corresponding Author); Aulert, Christophe; Le Guillou, Gilles; Gallien, Fabrice; Peron, Clara; Gremillet, David.

In: Marine Biology, Vol. 164, No. 5, 119, 05.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ponchon, Aurore ; Aulert, Christophe ; Le Guillou, Gilles ; Gallien, Fabrice ; Peron, Clara ; Gremillet, David. / Spatial overlaps of foraging and resting areas of black-legged kittiwakes breeding in the English Channel with existing marine protected areas. In: Marine Biology. 2017 ; Vol. 164, No. 5.
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abstract = "The English Channel is one of the most anthropized marine ecosystems due to increasing human pressures, both along the coasts and at sea. Numerous marine protected areas (MPAs) have been created in this area but their ecological relevance still needs to be demonstrated for mobile species such as seabirds. Here, we identified the at-sea foraging and resting areas of black-legged kittiwakes to quantify their spatial overlap with existing neighbouring MPAs. Using solar-powered GPS-UHF, we tracked at-sea trips of 36 kittiwakes breeding at three colonies along the French coasts of the English Channel: Boulogne-sur-Mer (Hauts-de-France, n = 11), Fecamp (Normandy, n = 14) and Saint-Pierre-du-Mont (Normandy, n = 11). While kittiwakes nesting at the two Normand colonies shared some of their foraging areas, birds from Boulogne-sur-Mer did not overlap their foraging areas with Normand birds. GPS-tracked birds from all three colonies remained close to the shore (<30 km) and mainly remained within French national waters. The existing MPA network encompassed > 60{\%} of all recorded locations, but MPA use was largely colony-specific. Habitat models built to predict habitat suitability confirmed that some MPAs encompassed highly suitable foraging and resting habitats for black-legged kittiwakes in the English Channel. Connectivity between the studied colonies was high, as indicated by inter-colony prospecting movements recorded in two individuals which supposedly failed their reproduction. Overall, this work highlights that marine species such as seabirds could benefit from existing MPAs. Nevertheless, the diversity of MPA types and their different roles complicates their effectiveness to protect marine biodiversity.",
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author = "Aurore Ponchon and Christophe Aulert and {Le Guillou}, Gilles and Fabrice Gallien and Clara Peron and David Gremillet",
note = "This study was partly funded by Eoliennes Offshores du Calvados & Eoliennes Offshores des Hautes Falaises and French Agency for Marine Protected Areas. David Gr{\'e}millet acknowledges the support of the French Polar Institute (Progr. ADACLIM 388).",
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AU - Gallien, Fabrice

AU - Peron, Clara

AU - Gremillet, David

N1 - This study was partly funded by Eoliennes Offshores du Calvados & Eoliennes Offshores des Hautes Falaises and French Agency for Marine Protected Areas. David Grémillet acknowledges the support of the French Polar Institute (Progr. ADACLIM 388).

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N2 - The English Channel is one of the most anthropized marine ecosystems due to increasing human pressures, both along the coasts and at sea. Numerous marine protected areas (MPAs) have been created in this area but their ecological relevance still needs to be demonstrated for mobile species such as seabirds. Here, we identified the at-sea foraging and resting areas of black-legged kittiwakes to quantify their spatial overlap with existing neighbouring MPAs. Using solar-powered GPS-UHF, we tracked at-sea trips of 36 kittiwakes breeding at three colonies along the French coasts of the English Channel: Boulogne-sur-Mer (Hauts-de-France, n = 11), Fecamp (Normandy, n = 14) and Saint-Pierre-du-Mont (Normandy, n = 11). While kittiwakes nesting at the two Normand colonies shared some of their foraging areas, birds from Boulogne-sur-Mer did not overlap their foraging areas with Normand birds. GPS-tracked birds from all three colonies remained close to the shore (<30 km) and mainly remained within French national waters. The existing MPA network encompassed > 60% of all recorded locations, but MPA use was largely colony-specific. Habitat models built to predict habitat suitability confirmed that some MPAs encompassed highly suitable foraging and resting habitats for black-legged kittiwakes in the English Channel. Connectivity between the studied colonies was high, as indicated by inter-colony prospecting movements recorded in two individuals which supposedly failed their reproduction. Overall, this work highlights that marine species such as seabirds could benefit from existing MPAs. Nevertheless, the diversity of MPA types and their different roles complicates their effectiveness to protect marine biodiversity.

AB - The English Channel is one of the most anthropized marine ecosystems due to increasing human pressures, both along the coasts and at sea. Numerous marine protected areas (MPAs) have been created in this area but their ecological relevance still needs to be demonstrated for mobile species such as seabirds. Here, we identified the at-sea foraging and resting areas of black-legged kittiwakes to quantify their spatial overlap with existing neighbouring MPAs. Using solar-powered GPS-UHF, we tracked at-sea trips of 36 kittiwakes breeding at three colonies along the French coasts of the English Channel: Boulogne-sur-Mer (Hauts-de-France, n = 11), Fecamp (Normandy, n = 14) and Saint-Pierre-du-Mont (Normandy, n = 11). While kittiwakes nesting at the two Normand colonies shared some of their foraging areas, birds from Boulogne-sur-Mer did not overlap their foraging areas with Normand birds. GPS-tracked birds from all three colonies remained close to the shore (<30 km) and mainly remained within French national waters. The existing MPA network encompassed > 60% of all recorded locations, but MPA use was largely colony-specific. Habitat models built to predict habitat suitability confirmed that some MPAs encompassed highly suitable foraging and resting habitats for black-legged kittiwakes in the English Channel. Connectivity between the studied colonies was high, as indicated by inter-colony prospecting movements recorded in two individuals which supposedly failed their reproduction. Overall, this work highlights that marine species such as seabirds could benefit from existing MPAs. Nevertheless, the diversity of MPA types and their different roles complicates their effectiveness to protect marine biodiversity.

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KW - CAPE GANNETS

KW - NORTH-SEA

KW - LONG-TERM

KW - SEABIRDS

KW - INSIGHTS

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