Marine Biology

, Volume 158, Issue 6, pp 1247–1257 | Cite as

Oceanographic and biological landscapes used by the Southern Giant Petrel during the breeding season at the Patagonian Shelf

  • Sofía CopelloEmail author
  • Ana I. Dogliotti
  • Domingo A. Gagliardini
  • Flavio Quintana
Original Paper


The study of how and why marine animals distribute themselves at sea has important conservation and management implications of the species and their habitats. We characterize the oceanographic and biological landscapes of the marine areas used by breeding Southern Giant Petrels (Macronectes giganteus) at Patagonian colonies and explore inter-sexual and inter-colony differences. The at-sea movements of 16 adults (7 males and 9 females) were studied by means of satellite telemetry techniques during 1999, 2000, 2002, and 2004 breeding seasons. Southern Giant Petrels utilized an oceanographic scenario characterized by high productivity, warm sea surface temperature, and shallow waters. The biological landscape was characterized by a high availability of squid and carrion nearby colonies. Females spent more time in the shelf break and exploited deeper waters than males. In contrast, males spent more time in coastal areas and they showed a higher spatial overlap with areas of high squid density than females. Such a prosperous foraging scenario for both sexes may play a key role in the growth of the breeding population of Southern Giant Petrel Patagonian colonies.


Shelf Break Marine Area Giant Petrel Rockhopper Penguin Tidal Front 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This study was funded by Wildlife Conservation Society, Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica (PICT 1/6372) and Ecocentro Puerto Madryn. S. Copello was funded by a PhD fellowship from CONICET and Agencia Nacional de Promoción Científica y Tecnológica. We thank Centro Nacional Patagónico for institutional support. We are grateful Patricia Dell′Arciprete for her assistance with GIS software and Enrique Crespo for providing update data on sea lion rookeries. We thank Luke Finley for valuable comments on the language of the manuscript. Revisions by three anonymous referees helped to improve the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sofía Copello
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Ana I. Dogliotti
    • 3
  • Domingo A. Gagliardini
    • 1
    • 3
  • Flavio Quintana
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Centro Nacional Patagónico (CONICET)Puerto MadrynArgentina
  2. 2.Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y NaturalesUniversidad Nacional de Mar del PlataMar del PlataArgentina
  3. 3.Pabellón IAFE-Ciudad Universitaria-Buenos AiresInstituto de Astronomía y Física del Espacio (CONICET)Buenos AiresArgentina
  4. 4.Wildlife Conservation SocietyCiudad de Buenos AiresArgentina

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