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    Foraging areas of black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses breeding on Macquarie Island in relation to marine protected areas

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    Número de documento:
    A. Terauds, R. Gales, G.B. Baker and R. Alderman (Australia)
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    1. While Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are often established to protect threatened top-order predators, there is a paucity of data that can be used to evaluate their efficacy in achieving this purpose.
    2. We assessed the effectiveness of a network of MPAs around Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean by examining the foraging areas of black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses that were breeding on the Island.
    3. During late incubation and brood periods over 90% of time spent foraging by black-browed albatrosses Thalassarche melanophrys was contained within MPAs, principally the Economic Exclusion Zone around Macquarie Island. In contrast, grey-headed albatrosses (T. chrysostoma) spent on only 34 % of their time foraging in MPAs.
    4. Black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses spent 30 % and 15 % of their respective foraging time in the Marine Park around Macquarie Island.
    5. Both black-browed and grey-headed albatrosses foraged in Antarctic waters under the jurisdiction of CCAMLR, accounting for 5% and 12% of the total foraging time respectively.
    6. There was significant spatial overlap in the areas utilised by black-browed albatrosses and a licensed trawl vessel operating within 200nm of Macquarie Island.
    7. The spatial extent of MPAs around Macquarie Island appear to adequately cover much of the foraging distribution of breeding black-browed albatrosses from Macquarie Island; however, most of this was in the EEZ not covered by the Macquarie Island Marine Park.
    8. Grey-headed albatrosses spend significantly more time in waters outside the spatial extent of these areas and are at higher risk from fisheries activities and other threats.
    9. Further information on albatross movements is required to assess the efficacy of MPAs in protecting foraging habitats outside of the breeding season.