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Distribution, abundance, and on-land threats to Cabo Verde seabirds

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 August 2020

GILSON SEMEDO
Affiliation:
University of Coimbra, MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Department of Life Sciences, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal.
VITOR H. PAIVA
Affiliation:
University of Coimbra, MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Department of Life Sciences, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal.
TERESA MILITÃO
Affiliation:
Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio) i Departament de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 643, Barcelona 08028, Spain.
ISABEL RODRIGUES
Affiliation:
Biosfera Cabo Verde, Rua de Moçambique 28, Mindelo, caixa postal 233, São Vicente, Cabo Verde.
HERCULANO A. DINIS
Affiliation:
Associação Projecto Vitó, Xaguate, S. Filipe, Fogo, Cabo Verde.
JORGE PEREIRA
Affiliation:
University of Coimbra, MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Department of Life Sciences, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal.
DIANA MATOS
Affiliation:
University of Coimbra, MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Department of Life Sciences, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal.
FILIPE R. CEIA
Affiliation:
University of Coimbra, MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Department of Life Sciences, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal.
NATHALIE M. ALMEIDA
Affiliation:
University of Coimbra, MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Department of Life Sciences, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal. Biosfera Cabo Verde, Rua de Moçambique 28, Mindelo, caixa postal 233, São Vicente, Cabo Verde.
PEDRO GERALDES
Affiliation:
SPEA - Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves, Av. Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro, 87, 3º andar, 1070-062 Lisboa, Portugal.
SARAH SALDANHA
Affiliation:
Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio) i Departament de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 643, Barcelona 08028, Spain.
NADITO BARBOSA
Affiliation:
Associação Projecto Vitó, Xaguate, S. Filipe, Fogo, Cabo Verde.
MARCOS HERNÁNDEZ-MONTERO
Affiliation:
Associação Projeto Biodiversidade, Santa Maria, Ilha do Sal, Cabo Verde.
CAROLINO FERNANDES
Affiliation:
Associação Projecto Vitó, Xaguate, S. Filipe, Fogo, Cabo Verde.
JACOB GONZÁLEZ-SÓLIS
Affiliation:
Institut de Recerca de la Biodiversitat (IRBio) i Departament de Biologia Evolutiva, Ecologia i Ciències Ambientals, Universitat de Barcelona, Av. Diagonal 643, Barcelona 08028, Spain.
JAIME A. RAMOS
Affiliation:
University of Coimbra, MARE – Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, Department of Life Sciences, Calçada Martim de Freitas, 3004-517 Coimbra, Portugal.
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Summary

Pelagic seabird populations have declined strongly worldwide. In the North Atlantic there was a huge reduction in seabird populations following the European colonization of the Azores, Madeira and Canary archipelagos but information on seabird status and distribution for the subtropical region of Cabo Verde is scarce, unavailable or dispersed in grey literature. We compiled and compared the historical and current distribution of all seabird species breeding in the Cabo Verde archipelago, updated their relative abundance, investigated their inland habitat preferences, and reviewed their threats. Currently, the breeding seabird community in Cabo Verde is composed of Bulwer’s Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, White-faced Storm-petrel Pelagodroma marina aedesorum, Cape Verde Shearwater Calonectris edwardsii, Cape Verde Storm-petrel Hydrobates jabejabe, Cape Verde Petrel Pterodroma feae, Boyd's Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri boydi, Brown Booby Sula leucogaster, and Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus. One breeding species is currently extinct, the Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens. The relative abundance of Cape Verde Shearwater, Boyd’s Shearwater, Cape Verde Petrel, and Cape Verde Storm-petrel was determined from counts of their nocturnal calls in Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, Branco, Raso and São Nicolau. Cape Verde Petrel occurred only on mountainous islands (Santo Antão, São Nicolau, Santiago, and Fogo) from mid-to high elevations. Larger species such as the Cape Verde Shearwater and Boyd’s Shearwater exhibited a wider distribution in the archipelago, occurring close to the coastline but at lower densities on populated islands. Small procellariforms such as the Cape Verde Storm-petrel occurred at high densities only on rat-free islets and in steep areas of main islands where introduced cats and rats are unlikely to occur. The main threats to seabird populations in Cabo Verde range from predation by introduced predators, habitat alteration or destruction, and some residual human persecution.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of BirdLife International

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