Spatial overlaps of foraging and resting areas of black-legged kittiwakes breeding in the English Channel with existing marine protected areas
The English Channel is one of the most anthropized marine ecosystems due to increasing human pressures, both along the coasts and at sea. Numerous marine protected areas (MPAs) have been created in this area but their ecological relevance still needs to be demonstrated for mobile species such as seabirds. Here, we identified the at-sea foraging and resting areas of black-legged kittiwakes to quantify their spatial overlap with existing neighbouring MPAs. Using solar-powered GPS-UHF, we tracked at-sea trips of 36 kittiwakes breeding at three colonies along the French coasts of the English Channel: Boulogne-sur-Mer (Hauts-de-France, n = 11), Fécamp (Normandy, n = 14) and Saint-Pierre-du-Mont (Normandy, n = 11). While kittiwakes nesting at the two Normand colonies shared some of their foraging areas, birds from Boulogne-sur-Mer did not overlap their foraging areas with Normand birds. GPS-tracked birds from all three colonies remained close to the shore (<30 km) and mainly remained within French national waters. The existing MPA network encompassed >60% of all recorded locations, but MPA use was largely colony-specific. Habitat models built to predict habitat suitability confirmed that some MPAs encompassed highly suitable foraging and resting habitats for black-legged kittiwakes in the English Channel. Connectivity between the studied colonies was high, as indicated by inter-colony prospecting movements recorded in two individuals which supposedly failed their reproduction. Overall, this work highlights that marine species such as seabirds could benefit from existing MPAs. Nevertheless, the diversity of MPA types and their different roles complicates their effectiveness to protect marine biodiversity.
KeywordsSuccessful Breeder Marine Protected Area Habitat Model Trip Duration Instantaneous Speed
We would like to thank all the fieldworkers involved in the capture of individuals and deployment of the loggers, particularly volunteers of the Groupe Ornithologique Normand. We also thank Thierry Boulinier for fruitful discussions. CA, GLG, FG and DG developed the study. GLG and FG conducted fieldwork. AP led the data processing, analyses and interpretation, with contribution from CP. AP led the writing and other authors commented on the manuscript.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This study was partly funded by Eoliennes Offshores du Calvados & Eoliennes Offshores des Hautes Falaises and French Agency for Marine Protected Areas. David Grémillet acknowledges the support of the French Polar Institute (Progr. ADACLIM 388).
All procedures performed in studies involving animals were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution or practice at which the studies were conducted. This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.
- Cadiou B (2011) Cinquième recensement national des oiseaux marins nicheurs en France métropolitaine 2009–2011. Première synthèse: bilan intermédiaire 2009–2010. Groupement d’intérêt scientifique oiseaux marinsGoogle Scholar
- Cadiou B, Pons J-M, Yésou P (2004) Oiseaux marins nicheurs de France métropolitaine (1960–2000). Editions Biotope, MèzeGoogle Scholar
- Chivers LS, Lundy MG, Colhoun K, Newton SF, Houghton JDR, Reid N (2013) Identifying optimal feeding habitat and proposed marine protected areas (pMPAs) for the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) suggests a need for complementary management approaches. Biol Conserv 164:73–81. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.04.022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Coulson JC (2011) The kittiwake. T & AD Poyser, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Debout G, Gallien F, Le Guillou G, Purenne R, Jacob Y, Chartier A, Calais L, Le Guillou D (2013) Etude des zones d’alimentation des mouettes tridactyles (Rissa tridactyla) sur la colonie de Saint-Pierre-du-Mont/14. Année 1: étude de faisabilité de capture d’adultes nicheurs. Synthèse bibliographique et bilan des essais de captureGoogle Scholar
- Elith J, Graham HC, Anderson PR, Dudík M, Ferrier S, Guisan A, Hijmans JR, Huettmann F, Leathwick RJ, Lehmann A, Li J, Lohmann GL, Loiselle AB, Manion G, Moritz C, Nakamura M, Nakazawa Y, Overton JM, Townsend PA, Phillips JS, Richardson K, Scachetti-Pereira R, Schapire ER, Soberón J, Williams S, Wisz SM, Zimmermann EN (2006) Novel methods improve prediction of species’ distributions from occurrence data. Ecography 29:129–151. doi: 10.1111/j.2006.0906-7590.04596.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gallien F, Purenne R, Jacob Y, Le Guillou G, Debout G (2014) Suivi de la mouette tridactyle en période de reproduction en Normandie: Colonies de Saint-Pierre-du-Mont, Englesqueville-la-Percée, La Poterie-Cap d’Antifer et Fécamp - Saison 2014. Groupe Ornithologique NormandGoogle Scholar
- Grémillet D, Péron C, Pons J-B, Ouni R, Authier M, Thévenet M, Fort J (2014) Irreplaceable area extends marine conservation hotspot off Tunisia: insights from GPS-tracking Scopoli’s shearwaters from the largest seabird colony in the Mediterranean. Mar Biol 161:2669–2680. doi: 10.1007/s00227-014-2538-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Halpern BS, Walbridge S, Selkoe KA, Kappel CV, Micheli F, D’Agrosa C, Bruno JF, Casey KS, Ebert C, Fox HE, Fujita R, Heinemann D, Lenihan HS, Madin EMP, Perry MT, Selig ER, Spalding M, Steneck R, Watson R (2008) A global map of human impact on marine ecosystems. Science 319:948–952CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Hijmans RJ (2015) Raster: geographic data analysis and modeling. R package version 2.3-24. http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=raster
- Juignet C (2014) Suivi 2014 des colonies de Mouettes tridactyles Rissa tridactyla au Cap Blanc-Nez et au port de Boulogne-sur-Mer, Nord-Pas-de-CalaisGoogle Scholar
- McClellan CM, Brereton T, Dell’Amico F, Johns DG, Cucknell A-C, Patrick SC, Penrose R, Ridoux V, Solandt J-L, Stephan E, Votier SC, Williams R, Godley BJ (2014) Understanding the distribution of marine megafauna in the english channel region: identifying key habitats for conservation within the busiest seaway on earth. PLoS One 9:e89720. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089720 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Paredes R, Orben RA, Suryan RM, Irons DB, Roby DD, Harding AMA, Young RC, Benoit-Bird K, Ladd C, Renner H, Heppell S, Phillips RA, Kitaysky AS (2014) Foraging responses of black-legged kittiwakes to prolonged food-shortages around colonies on the Bering Sea shelf. PLoS One 9:e92520. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0092520 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Péron C, Grémillet D, Prudor A, Pettex E, Saraux C, Soriano-Redondo A, Authier M, Fort J (2013) Importance of coastal marine protected areas for the conservation of pelagic seabirds: the case of vulnerable yelkouan shearwaters in the Mediterranean Sea. Biol Conserv 168:210–221. doi: 10.1016/j.biocon.2013.09.006 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Purenne R, Jacob Y, Le Guillou G, Debout G, Gallien F (2013) Suivi de la mouette tridactyle en période de nidification en Normandie—Colonies de Saint-Pierre-du-Mont, Englesqueville-la-Percée, La Poterie-Cap d’Antifer et FécampGoogle Scholar
- Rodríguez-Rodríguez D, Rees S, Mannaerts G, Sciberras M, Pirie C, Black G, Aulert C, Sheehan EV, Carrier S, Attrill MJ (2015) Status of the marine protected area network across the English channel (La Manche): cross-country similarities and differences in MPA designation, management and monitoring. Mar Policy 51:536–546. doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2014.09.021 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Skov H, Durinck J, Leopold MF, Tasker ML (1995) Important bird areas for seabirds in the North Sea including the Channel and the Kattegat. Bird Life Int, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- R Core Team (2013) R: a language and environment for statistical computing R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, AustriaGoogle Scholar