Large numbers of staging Balearic Shearwaters (Puffinis Mauretanicus) along the Lisbon coast, Portugal, during the post-breeding period, June 2004

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Abstract

The Balearic Shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus is a rare and globally threatened seabird (BirdLife International 2002). Its breeding distribution is confined to the Balearic Islands, in the western M e d i t e rra n e a n . In the late nineties its total population has been estimated at 17,000-20,000 birds (Mayol & Aguilar 1998, Merne & Yésou 1997), with a breeding population of 3,000-5,000 pairs (Mayol-Serra et al. 2000). However, recent ABSTRACT – Relatively large numbers of Balearic Shearwaters were present along the Lisbon coast between Guincho and Cascais in June 2004, suggesting that this area was used as a major staging area during the post-breeding period. A minimum of 1,294, 953, and 1,177 Balearic Shearwaters were observed respectively on 2, 3 and 4 of June 2004, meaning that approximately 14 % of the total population of this rare and globally threatened seabird was using this area. The majority of Balearic Shearwaters were rafting (on average 59.7 %), but active foraging flocks were also present (the largest with 700 birds, together with 540 Gannets Morus bassanus, and some other species). The largest proportion of rafting Balearic Shearwaters was found south of Cascais (the largest flock with 900 birds), probably because the west-east oriented coast provides shelter from the prevailing north-western wind. The observations were compared with information from the early nineties, when the species was more numerous, and with recent information on the occurrence of the species along the Portuguese coast.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
JournalAiro
Volume15
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes

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