Pre-laying movements of Yelkouan Shearwaters 2016-2017 (BirdLife Malta)

Lago P, Austad M, Metzger B, Gatt MC. 2019. Pre-laying movements of Yelkouan Shearwaters 2016-2017 (BirdLife Malta). Movebank Data Repository.
The pre-laying exodus (PLE) is considered a crucial period in the breeding biology of Procellariiformes as it determines the success of egg production within a season and, therefore, a population’s reproductive output. However, it has scarcely been studied compared to other stages of the annual cycle. Here we present the first pre-laying tracks of the vulnerable Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan) through the Global Positioning System tracking of birds breeding on the Maltese islands in the Central Mediterranean, and compare PLE core utilisation areas to known areas used during the chick-rearing period. Females spend, on average, 13 days foraging during egg development, reaching an average maximum distance of 325.5 km from their breeding colony to forage at offshore areas mainly south of the Maltese islands; these journeys are of longer duration and cover a greater distance than those undertaken by males, and by females that are not developing an egg, during the same period. There is little to no overlap between the PLE core utilisation areas and those used during chick-rearing by the same populations. This confirms our expectations that the PLE differs from foraging trips undertaken outside of the egg development period. Our results highlight the need for more research into the factors attracting egg-producing females to the PLE foraging areas and the importance of trans-boundary marine protection for the conservation of vulnerable seabirds.
animal foraging,animal movement,animal tracking,Maltese Islands,Mediterranean Sea,movement ecology,pre-laying exodus,Procellariformes,Puffinus yelkouan,seabirds,yelkouan shearwaters
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DOIs of related Publications
  title = {Pre-laying movements of Yelkouan Shearwaters 2016-2017 (BirdLife Malta)},
  author = {Lago, P and Austad, M and Metzger, B and Gatt, MC},
  year = {2019},
  URL = {},
  doi = {doi:10.5441/001/1.td50n8q0/1},
  publisher = {Movebank data repository}
ID  - doi:10.5441/001/1.td50n8q0/1
T1  - Pre-laying movements of Yelkouan Shearwaters 2016-2017 (BirdLife Malta)
AU  - Lago, Paulo
AU  - Austad, Martin
AU  - Metzger, Benjamin
AU  - Gatt, Marie Claire
Y1  - 2019/04/12
KW  - animal foraging
KW  - animal movement
KW  - animal tracking
KW  - Maltese Islands
KW  - Mediterranean Sea
KW  - movement ecology
KW  - pre-laying exodus
KW  - Procellariformes
KW  - Puffinus yelkouan
KW  - seabirds
KW  - yelkouan shearwaters
KW  - Puffinus yelkouan
PB  - Movebank data repository
UR  -
DO  - doi:10.5441/001/1.td50n8q0/1
ER  -