Quantifying habitat use in satellite-tracked pelagic seabirds: application of kernel estimation to albatross locations
We develop a new approach to quantifying habitat use within the foraging ranges of satellite-tracked seabirds. We applied kernel estimation techniques to 167 days (3738 locations) of data from Black-browed and Grey-headed albatrosses Diomedea melanophris and D. chrysostoma during the chick-rearing period of the breeding cycle at South Georgia. At this time the activity range of these two species covers an estimated 440 000 and 640 000 km2, respectively, with very substantial overlap. In contrast, kernel estimation reveals that the main foraging areas of these two sympatric, congeneric species are very distinct. Based on location density categories accounting for 50% of locations, the foraging areas cover c. 81 500 and c. 119 700 km2, respectively, with 42% and 50% of the range of one species overlapping with that of the other.
Authors: Wood, A. G., Naef-Daenzer, B., Prince, P. A., Croxall, J. P.