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Factors affecting mortality of shearwaters stranded by light pollution

AuthorsRodríguez, Airam ; Rodríguez, Beneharo; Curbelo, A.J.; Pérez, A.; Marrero, S.; Negro, Juan J.
Keywordsbody condition
Calonectris diomedea
Canary Islands
light pollution
sex ratio
Issue DateOct-2012
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationAnimal conservation, 15(5): 519-526 (2012)
AbstractEvery year and across the world, thousands of fledglings of different petrel species crash into human structures because they are disorientated by artificial lights during their first flights. As this phenomenon is rather predictable, rescue cam- paigns are organized to help birds to reach the ocean, but unfortunately, a low proportion gets hurt or dies. Despite the huge number of affected individuals, and the fact that the problem was detected a long time ago, little is known on this source of mortality. We have studied the factors (i.e. body condition, plumage development, fledging date and sex) influencing the mortality of Cory’s Shearwa- ter Calonectris diomedea fledglings stranded inland due to light pollution in Ten- erife (Canary Islands) during two consecutive breeding seasons (2009 and 2010). Late fledglings showed lower values of a body condition index than early ones. No sex biases were detected, neither considering stranded birds overall, nor for recov- ery dates or in the body condition of rescued fledglings. Our results indicate that late birds stranded by lights showing abundant down are more susceptible to fatal collisions and that the lights do not selectively kill birds with lower body condition indices. An enhancement of veterinary care should be done during the last part of the fledging period when more fatal collisions occur, especially focused on fledg- lings with abundant down. More research to determine why some individuals end up disoriented around artificial lights and others do not is urgently needed to minimize or prevent fallouts.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-1795.2012.00544.x
Appears in Collections:(EBD) Artículos
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