Late Lunch Talk: Age, Climate and Predators: survival dynamics of European storm petrels (Hydrobates pelagicus) in the Molène archipelago (France).
Late Lunch Talk by Albert Fernandez-Chacon
The European storm petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) is a long-lived migratory seabird for which demographic knowledge, especially at the immature stage, still remains incomplete, arguably because its pelagic habits, small size and cryptic breeding behaviour make its observation challenging. Their small size (28 g when adult) makes storm petrels vulnerable to predation by seagulls but this does not impede them from migrating between the wintering areas in South African waters and the North Atlantic breeding colonies every year. The Molène archipelago, in Brittany, is the most important breeding area for the species in France. Since 1997, a local monitoring program involving bird banding and mist-netting during the breeding season as well as the collection dead recoveries of individuals killed by local predators has provided detailed long-term individual data to investigate the factors shaping the population dynamics of the species in the archipelago. Here I show the results of the exploration and analysis of this unique capture-recapture-recovery dataset, focusing on individual survival and the influence of age, predators and climatic factors on this key vital rate.