Foraging Ecology and Energetics of Southern Diving Predators in Relation to Climatic Variability
The objectives of our proposal are to study the foraging strategies and energetics of the main diving birds of the Southern Indian Ocean (especially penguins) that play a major role in food webs. The studies are based on cutting edge bio-logging developments and a pluri-disciplinary approach involving ecologists, physiologists and oceanographers. We want to determine i) the foraging strategies of diving birds and ii) the at-sea energetics, from individuals to populations and we would like to iii) evaluate the consequences of environmental changes on the ecology and foraging success of diving birds. All these issues are of great relevance for the determination of important bird areas at-sea and the use of penguins as indicators for the impact of climatic variability (short and long term scale) on some poorly known food webs of the Southern Ocean.