Volume 51, No. 1

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Flight altitudes of chick-rearing Rhinoceros Auklets Cerorhinca monocerata measured by GPS logger


1Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, Minato-cho 3-1-1, Hakodate, Hokkaido 041-8611, Japan
2Present address: Salmon Research Department, Fisheries Resources Institute, Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, 2-2 Nakanoshima, Toyohira-ku, Sapporo 062-0922, Japan (


OKADO, J. & WATANUKI, Y. 2023. Flight altitudes of chick-rearing Rhinoceros Auklets Cerorhinca monocerata measured by GPS logger. Marine Ornithology 51: 109 - 114

Received 15 February 2021, accepted 07 February 2023

Date Published: 2023/04/15
Date Online: 2023/04/10
Key words: elevation of colony, collision risk, alcid, offshore wind farm, seabird


Alcids generally fly at low altitudes (below 5 m) over the sea but may occasionally fly higher in certain areas, which may put them at risk of collision with turbine blades in offshore wind farms. We used GPS loggers to investigate the location and altitude of flying Rhinoceros Auklets Cerorhinca monocerata. They typically flew at low altitudes averaging < 1 m but flew higher (> 20 m) when returning the last 5-10 km to their colony, which was located at an elevation of 120-130 m above sea level. Thus, the region over which Rhinoceros Auklets fly highest may vary, depending on the location and elevation of their breeding sites. Therefore, it is important to consider spatio-temporal flight altitude patterns when assessing their collision risks with offshore wind turbines.


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