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Overview

Distribution

Range Description

During breeding season, Cape Petrels feed around Antarctica's shelf and during the winter they range further north, as far as Angola and the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador. They breed on many islands of Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands, some going as far as the Auckland Islands, the Chatham Islands, Campbell Island (New Zealand). Their main breeding grounds were on the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia (Georgias del Sur), the Balleny Islands, the Kerguelen Islands (French Southern Territory), as well as islands in the Scotia Sea (del Hoyo et al. 1992).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
The Cape Petrel is marine and pelagic, especially in winter. It occurs mainly over cold waters beyong the continental shelf, but can be found over inshore waters during breeding. Its diet comprises mainly of krill, but also fish, squid, offal, carrion and refuse from ships, acquiring food by hydroplaning, dipping whilst on the wing and occaisionally diving. It has been seen associated with whales and other seabirds, and congregates in large flocks around trawlers. The breeding season starts in November with colonies or variable sizes being formed on cliffs or steep rocky slopes. It nests in shallow crevices, in scrape on rocky ledges, on stable beds of gravel or among boulders (del Hoyo et al. 1992).

Systems
  • Terrestrial
  • Marine
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Depth range based on 1688 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 1550 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0 - 0
  Temperature range (°C): -1.670 - 14.598
  Nitrate (umol/L): 1.740 - 30.651
  Salinity (PPS): 33.178 - 34.963
  Oxygen (ml/l): 5.864 - 8.188
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.431 - 2.126
  Silicate (umol/l): 1.974 - 89.471

Graphical representation

Temperature range (°C): -1.670 - 14.598

Nitrate (umol/L): 1.740 - 30.651

Salinity (PPS): 33.178 - 34.963

Oxygen (ml/l): 5.864 - 8.188

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.431 - 2.126

Silicate (umol/l): 1.974 - 89.471
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Breeding Category

Breeding
  • Woehler E.J. (compiler) 2006. Species list prepared for SCAR/IUCN/BirdLife International Workshop on Antarctic Regional Seabird Populations, March 2005, Cambridge, UK.
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Source: World Register of Marine Species

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Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 25 years (wild)
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Daption capense

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2012

Assessor/s
BirdLife International

Reviewer/s
Butchart, S. & Symes, A.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
Brooke (2004) estimated the global population to exceed 2,000,000 individuals.

Population Trend
Stable
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Risks

IUCN Red List Category

Least Concern
  • Woehler E.J. (compiler) 2006. Species list prepared for SCAR/IUCN/BirdLife International Workshop on Antarctic Regional Seabird Populations, March 2005, Cambridge, UK.
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Wikipedia

Cape petrel

The Cape petrel (Daption capense) also called Cape pigeon or pintado petrel, is a common seabird of the Southern Ocean from the family Procellariidae. It is the only member of the genus Daption, and is allied to the fulmarine petrels, and the giant petrels. It is also sometimes known as the Cape fulmar.[citation needed] They are extremely common seabirds with an estimated population of around 2 million.[citation needed]

Taxonomy[edit]

The Cape petrel is the only known member of the genus Daption and is in turn a member of the family Procellariidae and order Procellariiformes. There appears to be a subgroup within the family consisting of the giant petrels, the members of Fulmarus, the Antarctic petrel, and the snow petrel.[4]

All Procellariiformes share certain identifying features. First, they have nasal passages that attach to the upper bill called naricorns. Although the nostrils on the albatross are on the sides of the bill. The bills of Procellariiformes are also unique in that they are split into between seven and nine horny plates. They produce a stomach oil made up of wax esters and triglycerides that is stored in the proventriculus. This can be sprayed out of their mouths as a defence against predators and as an energy rich food source for chicks and for the adults during their long flights.[5] Finally, they also have a salt gland that is situated above the nasal passage and helps desalinate their bodies, due to the high amount of ocean water that they imbibe. It excretes a high saline solution from their nose.[6]

Subspecies[edit]

The Cape petrel has two subspecies

Description[edit]

The Cape petrel is a unique looking petrel. It has a black head and neck, and a white belly, breast, and its underwing is white with a black border. Its back, and upperwings are black and white speckled, as is its tail which also has a band of black. When fully grown, their wings span 86 cm (34 in) and they are 39 cm (15 in) long.[3][8]

Etymology[edit]

Daption is derived from Ancient Greek for "little devourer", and the Cape name is because of where the type specimen was collected. Finally, pintado is Spanish for "painted" for its plumage. One of their other names, Cape pigeon, is from their habit of pecking at the water for food.[3] The word petrel is derived from St. Peter and the story of his walking on water. This is in reference to the petrel's habit of appearing to run on the water to take off.[9]

Diet[edit]

The Cape petrels' diet is 80% crustaceans, as well as fish and squid. Krill is their favourite crustacean, which they obtain by surface seizing as well as diving under water and filtering them out.[3][8] They are also known for following ships and eating edible waste and carcasses thrown overboard. They are aggressive while feeding and will spit their stomach oil at competitors, even their own species.[3]

Breeding[edit]

A breeding Cape petrel at King George Island
Daption capense in flight 3 - SE Tasmania.jpg

They are colonial birds, and nest on cliffs or level ground within a kilometre of the ocean.[3] They tend to have smaller colonies than other petrels.[8] Their nests are formed with pebbles and are placed under overhanging rock for protection,[3][8] or in a crevice.[8] In November they lay a single egg, which is incubated for 45 days by both sexes. Like most other fulmars, they will defend their nest by spitting stomach oil. Skuas in particular will prey on Cape petrel eggs and chicks. Upon hatching, the chick is brooded for ten days until it can thermoregulate, after which both parents assist in the feeding. The chicks fledge after 45 more days, around March.[3]

Range and habitat[edit]

During breeding season, Cape petrels feed around Antarctica's shelf and during the winter they range further north, as far as Angola and the Galapagos Islands. They breed on many islands of Antarctica and the subantarctic islands, some going as far as the Auckland Islands, the Chatham Islands, Campbell Island. Their main breeding grounds were on the Antarctic Peninsula, South Georgia, the Balleny Islands, the Kerguelen Islands, as well as islands in the Scotia Sea.[3]

Conservation[edit]

The Cape petrel has an occurrence range of 146,000,000 km2 (56,370,915 sq mi) and a 2009 estimate places their population of adult birds at 2 million. Consequently, the IUCN rates them as least concern.[10]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Daption capense". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Brands, Sheila (15 Aug 2008(a))
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i ZipCode Zoo (03 Jul 2009)
  4. ^ Tree of Life (27 Jun 2008)
  5. ^ Double, M. C. (2003)
  6. ^ Ehrlich, Paul R. (1988)
  7. ^ a b Clements, James (2007)
  8. ^ a b c d e Harrison, C. & Greensmith, A. (1993)
  9. ^ Gotch, A. T. (1995)
  10. ^ BirdLife International (2012)

References[edit]

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