Seabird sensory ecology and conservation

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dc.contributor.advisor Gaskett, A en
dc.contributor.advisor Beggs, J en Friesen, Megan en 2017-04-11T23:31:54Z en 2017 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description.abstract Seabirds live in extreme environments. After fledging, they spend the majority of their lives foraging on the vast ocean landscape, coming to shore only to breed. Most seabirds also exhibit strong pairbonding, monogamy, and philopatry. These behavioural and ecological traits make them fascinating subjects for sensory ecology research. Sensory perception is integral in all aspects of seabird biology, including sexual selection, evolution, and ecology. Seabirds are also one of the most at-risk groups of birds in the world due to threats faced both at sea and on sensitive breeding colonies, and sensory-based management efforts offer a powerful new approach for conservation. Firstly, this thesis examines the use of seabird sensory ecology from an applied conservation perspective. A comprehensive review of the uses of sensory –based techniques highlights the importance of this field for the conservation of seabirds indicates how these methods could be applied to other taxa with similar life histories and behaviours (Chapter 1 in press, Biological Reviews). Experiments testing the use of sensory stimuli for the attraction of grey-faced petrels (Pterodroma gouldi) to restored habitat (Chapter 2) indicate that not all sensory modes, or acoustic stimuli, are equally effective. Playback of attractive calls and supernormal acoustic signals were more effectiv than aggressive calls. Naturally scented nest material neither attracted nor deterred birds from nest boxes. Secondly, I examine the sensory ecology of seabirds from a theoretical perspective. Procellariiform seabirds such as petrels, shearwaters, storm petrels and albatross, are a more basal avian lineage and have some sensory traits that reflect their phylogeny (e.g. large olfactory bulb ratios), and have been thought to lack the ability to learn complex communication that is exhibited in songbirds (Oscines). Investigations into grey-faced petrel vocalizations revealed previously unknown complexities of their call repertoires (Chapter 3) and experimental manipulations indicate the first ever evidence of vocal matching in a seabird species (Chapter 4). Finally, this thesis examines olfactory communication and offers the first demonstration of a phylogenetic basis of odour in birds. Odour composition was linked to species and phylogenetic relatedness, for six species of seabirds from two orders (five Procellariiformes and one Sphenisciformes- penguins). By using a holistic approach, this thesis shows the centrality of sensory ecology in seabird biology, the complexity of seabird sensory adaptations, and how these can be harnessed in conservation. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264918512802091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Seabird sensory ecology and conservation en
dc.type Thesis en Biological Sciences en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en
dc.rights.accessrights en
pubs.elements-id 622440 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2017-04-12 en

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