Polar Biology

, Volume 26, Issue 10, pp 638–647 | Cite as

The diet of black-browed albatrosses at the Diego Ramirez Islands, Chile

  • Javier ArataEmail author
  • José C. Xavier
Original Paper


The diet of black-browed albatrosses was studied at Gonzalo Island, Diego Ramirez, Chile, during the early chick-rearing periods of 2000, 2001, and 2002. Diet composition was determined by sampling chick-stomach contents during January and February of each year. Reconstituted meal mass was similar throughout the study, with diet being dominated by fish in all 3 years. Overall, the main items taken were the fishes Macruronus magellanicus (66–89% by mass) and Micromesistius australis (2.6–3.7% by mass), which are both fisheries-related species, and the squid Martialia hyadesi (8–20% by mass). The distribution of the prey species indicates that black-browed albatrosses obtained the bulk of their food over the South American continental shelf, but also foraged at the Antarctic Polar Front. The prevalence in the diet of fish species discarded from fishing operations, and the presence of fish hooks and fish bait species, indicate a strong association with fisheries in southern Chile.


Falkland Island Mantle Length Longline Fishery Antarctic Polar Front Fish Hook 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Thanks are due to Graham Robertson for his contributions to paper corrections and discussion, I am also grateful to Carlos Moreno and José Valencia for their suggestions and support in the preliminary stages of the study. I also thank J. Valencia, A. Sepulveda, and M. Muñoz, for their assistance in the field, and to Vilma Ojeda (IFOP), for providing otolith samples from southern Chile and Carlos Jara, Layla Osman, Paul Rodhouse, and Dick Williams for their help in species identification. This research was made possible thanks to a collaboration program between the Instituto Antartico Chileno (INACH), the Universidad Austral de Chile (UACH), the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD), and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS). Further financial assistance for laboratory expenses was provided through a project of the Direccion de Investigacion y Desarrollo (DID), UACH. Financial support for my stay at Gonzalo Island was provided by a scholarship from the Comision Nacional de Investigacion Cientifica y Tecnologica (CONICYT), Chile.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Ecología y Evolución, Campus Isla TejaUniversidad Austral de ChileValdiviaChile
  2. 2.British Antarctic SurveyNatural Environment Research CouncilCambridgeUK

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