Distribution and Foraging Behaviour of Seabirds in Southwest coast of India

Jeyabaskaran, R and Mohan, Gishnu and Mohammed, Abbas A and Abhilash, K S and Vishnu, P G and Khambadkar, L R and Kripa, V (2014) Distribution and Foraging Behaviour of Seabirds in Southwest coast of India. [Image]

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    Abstract

    Seabirds are the apex predators in the marine ecosystem. So far 346 species of seabirds belongs to 9 families were reported in the world among 9000 birds of 156 bird families. Seabirds are the indicators of fish shoal for fishers and play an important role in recycling nutrients in pelagic ecosystem. Research on seabirds of India is very limited and most of the information is available on shore birds. Extensive field surveys were conducted from September 2013 to October 2014 to study the seabirds of southwest coast of India. The results showed that 23 species of seabirds belongs to 15 genera of 8 families were present in the area. Among these Boobies, Cormorants, Shear waters, Petrels, Gulls, Terns, Noddies and Skuas abundance were estimated using band transect method. The Brown-headed gull Larus brunnicephalus were abundant in January and Flesh-footed shear water Ardenna corneipes were dominant during June. The maximum 7500 numbers of Flesh-footed shearwaters were observed on 26th June 2014. The seabird diversity was more during upwelling period. The food preference and foraging behavior of seabirds in India has not been studied so far except Pelicans and Cormorants. The present study showed that oil sardine was the most preferred food for the shear waters and the next preference was anchovies. It fed only live fish and not at all eating dead fish. The flesh-footed shearwaters distribution and abundance was directly correlated to the occurrence of oil sardine shoal. When ship pass through the oil sardine shoal, one or two shearwater seen it and made high pitched squeal. Immediately all other shearwaters flock in that area came close to the ship and heavy completion was observed among them in scavenging fish. Most of the Terns preferred to feed on white shrimp Penaeus indicus and Metapenaeus dobsoni. The foraging behaviours like scavenging, surface pecking, skimming, dipping, pursuit plunging, surface seizing, pursuit diving of different seabird species with photographic evidence are discussed in the paper in detail for the first time in India.

    Item Type: Image
    Additional Information: Presented at International Symposium on 'Marine Ecosystems - Challenges and Opportunities (MECOS 2), At Kochi, Kerala, India
    Uncontrolled Keywords: Distribution; Foraging Behaviour of Seabirds; Southwest coast of India;
    Subjects: Marine Birds
    Divisions: CMFRI-Kochi > Fishery Environment
    Subject Area > CMFRI > CMFRI-Kochi > Fishery Environment
    CMFRI-Kochi > Fishery Environment
    Subject Area > CMFRI-Kochi > Fishery Environment
    Depositing User: Arun Surendran
    Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 04:45
    Last Modified: 25 Jun 2018 04:45
    URI: http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/id/eprint/12871

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