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Title: Foraging habitat selection by Little Terns Sternula albifrons in an estuarine lagoon system of southern Portugal
Authors: Paiva, Vitor H. 
Ramos, Jaime A. 
Martins, Jorge 
Almeida, Ana 
Carvalho, Ana 
Issue Date: 2008
Citation: Ibis. 150:1 (2008) 18-31
Abstract: We assessed the effects of environmental variables on the distribution and feeding behaviour of adult Little Terns Sternula albifrons in Ria Formosa Natural Park, Algarve, southern Portugal, in different foraging habitats (main lagoon, salinas and sea) during the breeding seasons, April2013July, of 2003201305. Foraging density was higher in the lagoon than in the sea, and at low tide. The number of foraging individuals at sea was independent of tide. Individual Little Terns foraged further from the nearest breeding colony in April and May (courtship feeding and incubation) than in June and July (chick-rearing). During intermediate tidal phases, individuals foraged further from the nearest colony, and followed main lagoon channels, perhaps because stronger currents increased prey availability. Diving activity and foraging success were higher in 2003 than 2004 or 2005, perhaps because of greater availability of marine prey in 2003. Diving rate was higher in July (when independent juveniles began learning how to forage) but diving success was higher in June (chick-rearing) than in other months. The variables selected by the final logistic models reflected four basic needs for the selection of feeding habitats by Little Terns: (1) association between foraging individuals, (2) areas with abundant feeding resources, (3) entrance channels and main lagoon channels with strong currents, and (4) the proximity to areas with alternative feeding resources, the salinas. Areas subjected to strong human pressure were avoided by foraging Little Terns.
DOI: 10.1111/j.1474-919X.2007.00722.x
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:FCTUC Ciências da Vida - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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