Volume 47, No. 1

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Diet of the Atlantic Petrel Pterodroma incerta during the non-breeding season


1Curso de Pós-Graduação em Zoologia, Escola de Ciências, Laboratório de Ornitologia, Museu de Ciências e Tecnologia, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio Grande do Sul (PUCRS), Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil (
2Grupo de Estudos de Mamíferos Aquáticos do Rio Grande do Sul (GEMARS), Torres, RS, Brazil
3Setor de Coleções, Museu de Ciências Naturais, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Imbé, RS, Brazil
4Centro de Estudos Costeiros, Limnológicos e Marinhos (CECLIMAR) & Programa de Pós-Graduação em Biologia Animal, UFRGS, Imbé & Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
5Laboratório de Biodiversidade e Conservação, Unidade Litoral Norte, Universidade Estadual do Rio Grande do Sul (LABeC/UERGS), Osório, RS, Brazil
6Centro Nacional de Pesquisa e Conservação da Biodiversidade Marinha do Sudeste e Sul, Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade (CEPSUL/ICMBio), Itajaí, SC, Brazil
aCurrent address: Laboratório de Aves Aquáticas e Tartarugas Marinhas, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas & Programa de Pós-Graduação em Oceanografia Biológica, Instituto de Oceanografia, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande (FURG), Rio Grande, RS, Brazil


PEREZ, M.S., DAUDT, N.W., TAVARES, M., OTT, P.H., SANTOS, R.A. & FONTANA, C.S. 2019. Diet of the Atlantic Petrel Pterodroma incerta during the non-breeding season. Marine Ornithology 47: 43 - 47

Received 30 July 2018, accepted 08 November 2018

Date Published: 2019/04/15
Date Online: 2019/01/31
Key words: feeding ecology, gadfly petrels, ingested debris, Procellariiformes, South Atlantic Ocean


The Atlantic Petrel Pterodroma incerta breeds during the austral winter and mainly on Gough Island, remaining near the colonies during the breeding season and wintering on the South Atlantic Subtropical Convergence waters. Until now, all information about the diet of this species has been obtained during the breeding season, but these birds may take different prey items on the breeding grounds vs. the wintering grounds. We examined the stomach contents of 61 Atlantic Petrels stranded during the wintering season. A total of 1 183 food items were recorded, mainly cephalopods (93.9 %) and fish (6.1 %). Anthropogenic objects (i.e., debris) were found in 23 birds (37.7 %). Cephalopods are the main prey during both the breeding and the non-breeding seasons. The ingestion of debris by more than one-third of individuals is noteworthy and reveals an additional threat to this endangered species.


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