Spatial overlaps of foraging and resting areas of black-legged kittiwakes breeding in the English Channel with existing marine protected areas

Abstract

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4

References

  1. Barrett RT (2007) Food web interactions in the southwestern Barents Sea: black-legged kittiwakes Rissa tridactyla respond negatively to an increase in herring Clupea harengus. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 349:269–276. doi:10.3354/meps07116

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Bost CA, Cotté C, Bailleul F, Cherel Y, Charrassin JB, Guinet C, Ainley DG, Weimerskirch H (2009) The importance of oceanographic fronts to marine birds and mammals of the southern oceans. J Mar Syst 78:363–376. doi:10.1016/j.jmarsys.2008.11.022

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Boulinier T, Danchin E, Monnat JY, Doutrelant C, Cadiou B (1996) Timing of prospecting and the value of information in a colonial breeding bird. J Avian Biol 27:252–256

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Brown JL (2014) SDMtoolbox: a python-based GIS toolkit for landscape genetic, biogeographic and species distribution model analyses. Methods Ecol Evol 5:694–700. doi:10.1111/2041-210X.12200

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 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 marins

  6. Cadiou B, Pons J-M, Yésou P (2004) Oiseaux marins nicheurs de France métropolitaine (1960–2000). Editions Biotope, Mèze

    Google Scholar 

  7. Calenge C (2006) The package “adehabitat” for the R software: a tool for the analysis of space and habitat use by animals. Ecol Model 197:516–519. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2006.03.017

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Cam E, Hines JE, Monnat JY, Nichols JD, Danchin E (1998) Are adult non breeders prudent parents? The kittiwake model. Ecology 79:2917–2930

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Cam E, Monnat J-Y, Hines JE (2003) Long-term fitness consequences of early conditions in the kittiwake. J Anim Ecol 72:411–424. doi:10.1046/j.1365-2656.2003.00708.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Chivers LS, Lundy MG, Colhoun K, Newton SF, Houghton JDR, Reid N (2012) Foraging trip time-activity budgets and reproductive success in the black-legged kittiwake. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 456:269–277

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Coulson JC (2011) The kittiwake. T & AD Poyser, London

    Google Scholar 

  13. Danchin E, Cam E (2002) Can non-breeding be a cost of breeding dispersal? Behav Ecol Sociobiol 51:153–163. doi:10.1007/s00265-001-0423-5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Danchin E, Boulinier T, Massot M (1998) Conspecific reproductive success and breeding habitat selection: implications for the study of coloniality. Ecology 79:2415–2428. doi:10.1890/0012-9658

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Dauvin J-C (2012) Are the eastern and western basins of the English Channel two separate ecosystems? Mar Pollut Bull 64:463–471. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2011.12.010

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 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 capture

  17. 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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Elith J, Phillips SJ, Hastie T, Dudík M, Chee YE, Yates CJ (2011) A statistical explanation of MaxEnt for ecologists. Divers Distrib 17:43–57. doi:10.1111/j.1472-4642.2010.00725.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Frederiksen M, Wright PJ, Harris MP, Mavor RA, Heubeck M, Wanless S (2005) Regional patterns of kittiwake Rissa tridactyla breeding success are related to variability in sandeel recruitment. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 300:201–211. doi:10.3354/meps300201

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Furness RW, Tasker ML (2000) Seabird-fishery interactions: quantifying the sensitivity of seabirds to reductions in sandeel abundance, and identification of key areas for sensitive seabirds in the North Sea. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 202:253–264

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 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 Normand

  22. Grémillet D, Dell’Omo G, Ryan PG, Peters G, Ropert-Coudert Y, Weeks SJ (2004) Offshore diplomacy, or how seabirds mitigate intra-specific competition: a case study based on GPS tracking of Cape gannets from neighbouring colonies. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 268:265–279

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 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 319:948–952

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Halpern BS, Frazier M, Potapenko J, Casey KS, Koenig K, Longo C, Lowndes JS, Rockwood RC, Selig ER, Selkoe KA, Walbridge S (2015) Spatial and temporal changes in cumulative human impacts on the world’s ocean. Nature Commun 6:7615. doi:10.1038/ncomms8615

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Heggøy O, Christensen-Dalsgaard S, Ranke PS, Chastel O, Bech C (2015) GPS-loggers influence behaviour and physiology in the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 521:237–248

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Hijmans RJ (2015) Raster: geographic data analysis and modeling. R package version 2.3-24. http://CRAN.R-project.org/package=raster

  28. Hooker SK, Cañadas A, Hyrenbach KD, Corrigan C, Polovina JJ, Reeves RR (2011) Making protected area networks effective for marine top predators. Endanger Species Res 13:203–218

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 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-Calais

  30. Korotenko KA, Sentchev AV, Schmitt FG (2012) Effect of variable winds on current structure and Reynolds stresses in a tidal flow: analysis of experimental data in the Eastern English Channel. Ocean Sci 8:1025–1040. doi:10.5194/os-8-1025-2012

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Kotzerka J, Garthe S, Hatch SA (2010) GPS tracking devices reveal foraging strategies of black-legged kittiwakes. J Ornithol 151:459–467

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Lascelles BG, Langham GM, Ronconi RA, Reid JB (2012) From hotspots to site protection: identifying marine protected areas for seabirds around the globe. Biol Conserv 156:5–14. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2011.12.008

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Louzao M, Delord K, Garcia D, Boué A, Weimerskirch H (2012) Protecting persistent dynamic oceanographic features: transboundary conservation efforts are needed for the critically endangered Balearic shearwater. PLoS One 7:e35728. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035728

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Owen E, Daunt F, Moffat C, Elston DA, Wanless S, Thompson P (2013) Analysis of fatty acids and fatty alcohols reveals seasonal and sex-specific changes in the diets of seabirds. Mar Biol 160:987–999. doi:10.1007/s00227-012-2152-x

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Paredes R, Harding AMA, Irons DB, Roby DD, Suryan RM, Orben RA, Renner H, Young R, Kitaysky AS (2012) Proximity to multiple foraging habitats enhances seabirds’ resilience to local food shortages. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 471:253–269

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. 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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Péron C, Grémillet D (2013) Tracking through life stages: adult, immature and juvenile autumn migration in a long-lived seabird. PLoS One 8:e72713. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072713

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. 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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Phillips SJ, Dudík M (2008) Modeling of species distributions with Maxent: new extensions and a comprehensive evaluation. Ecography 31:161–175. doi:10.1111/j.0906-7590.2008.5203.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Phillips SJ, Anderson RP, Schapire RE (2006) Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. Ecol Model 190:231–259

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Ponchon A, Grémillet D, Doligez B, Chambert T, Tveraa T, González-Solís J, Boulinier T (2013) Tracking prospecting movements involved in breeding habitat selection: insights, pitfalls and perspectives. Methods Ecol Evol 4:143–150. doi:10.1111/j.2041-210x.2012.00259.x

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Ponchon A, Grémillet D, Christensen-Dalsgaard S, Erikstad KE, Barrett RT, Reiertsen TK, McCoy KD, Tveraa T, Boulinier T (2014) When things go wrong: intra-season dynamics of breeding failure in a seabird. Ecosphere 5:4. doi:10.1890/ES13-00233.1

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Ponchon A, Chambert T, Lobato E, Tveraa T, Grémillet D, Boulinier T (2015) Breeding failure induces large scale prospecting movements in the back-legged kittiwake. J Exp Mar Biol Ecol 473:138–145. doi:10.1016/j.jembe.2015.08.013

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Ponchon A, Iliszko L, Grémillet D, Tveraa T, Boulinier T (2017) Intense prospecting movements of failed breeders nesting in an unsuccessful breeding subcolony. Anim Behav 124:183–191

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. 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 Fécamp

  47. Robertson GS, Bolton M, Grecian WJ, Monaghan P (2014) Inter- and intra-year variation in foraging areas of breeding kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla). Mar Biol 161:1973–1986. doi:10.1007/s00227-014-2477-8

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  48. 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

    Article  Google Scholar 

  49. Ropert-Coudert Y, Grémillet D, Kato A, Ryan PG, Naito Y, Le Maho Y (2004) A fine-scale time budget of Cape gannets provides insights into the foraging strategies of coastal seabirds. Anim Behav 67:985–992

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. 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, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  51. Swets KA (1988) Measuring the accuracy of diagnostic systems. Science 240:1285–1293

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  52. R Core Team (2013) R: a language and environment for statistical computing R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna, Austria

  53. Thaxter CB, Lascelles B, Sugar K, Cook ASCP, Roos S, Bolton M, Langston RHW, Burton NHK (2012) Seabird foraging ranges as a preliminary tool for identifying candidate marine protected areas. Biol Conserv 156:53–61. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2011.12.009

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Wanless S, Frederiksen M, Daunt F, Scott BE, Harris MP (2007) Black-legged kittiwakes as indicators of environmental change in the North Sea: evidence from long-term studies. Prog Oceanogr 72:30–38

    Article  Google Scholar 

  55. Worton BJ (1989) Kernel methods for estimating the utilization distribution in home-range studies. Ecology 70:164–168

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

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.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Aurore Ponchon.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Funding

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).

Ethical approval

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.

Additional information

Reviewed by E. Owen and undisclosed experts.

Responsible Editor: V.H. Paiva.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary material 1 (PDF 256 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Ponchon, A., Aulert, C., Le Guillou, G. et al. Spatial overlaps of foraging and resting areas of black-legged kittiwakes breeding in the English Channel with existing marine protected areas. Mar Biol 164, 119 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00227-017-3151-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Successful Breeder
  • Marine Protected Area
  • Habitat Model
  • Trip Duration
  • Instantaneous Speed