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Corpus Systématique Animale

Titre du document

Over-wintering strategies of the Lesser Sheathbill Chionis minor in an impoverished and insular environment

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Springer (journals)
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Type de document
Mots-clés d'auteur
  • Chionis minor
  • Over-wintering strategy
  • Foraging behaviour
  • Intraspecific competition
  • Changing environment
Nom du fichier dans la ressource
  • C. Verheyden 1
  • P. Jouventin 1
  • 1) Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, F-79360, Beauvoir/Niort, France

The Lesser Sheathbill Chionis minor is an opportunistic predator and scavenger that breeds on sub-Antarctic islands during the summer season, when many other seabirds are present, especially penguins on which it is kleptoparasitic. It is a poor flyer and over-winters on its breeding grounds, where it faces a diminished food supply and low temperatures. Its foraging behaviour was suspected to be plastic enough to respond to such a variable environment, and we show how this species enlarged its niche to survive in winter. Population movements, dietary changes and monthly weight gains were quantified during a 13-month period of observation. Mortality rates, calculated over a 19-year period of banding, appeared to be age dependent: they decrease, due to competition, from juveniles to subadults, adult non-breeders, and breeders. One of the survival strategies described here is, to our knowledge, unique among birds. After the Crested Penguin colonies have been deserted, some adult sheathbills (mainly females) remained territorial, extending their territory size and diet while their partners moved to previously undefended zones in King Penguin colonies (permanent and large in the Crozet archipelago), where they competed for a winter territory and subsequently associated with another mate. After this winter mating, mobile sheathbills returned the following summer to their breeding territory and previous mate.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - natural sciences
  • 2 - biology
  • 3 - ecology
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
  • 4 - ethologie animale
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Catégories WoS
  • 1 - science ; 2 - ecology
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