Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The diet of New Zealand King Shags ( Leucocarbo carunculatus ) in Pelorus Sound

TitleThe diet of New Zealand King Shags ( Leucocarbo carunculatus ) in Pelorus Sound
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1998
AuthorsLalas, C, Brown, D
Type of Articlepaper
KeywordsArnoglossus scapha, daily food intake, Leucocarbo carunculatus, New Zealand King Shag, otoliths

The diet of New Zealand King Shags (Leucocarbo carunculatus) in Pelorus Sound, South Island, New Zealand, was deduced from diagnostic prey remains in 22 complete regurgitated pellets collected as two samples taken six months apart. Pellets represented a total of ahour 683 prey items with an estimated wet mass of 14.9 kg. Witch (Arnoglossus scapha), a lefteyed flatfish (Bothidae), dominated the diet and accounted for about 90% of prey items and 95% of wet mass in both samples, but there was a change in the average size taken. The average total wet weight per pellet matched the theoretical estimate for daily energy expenditure for the shags. Prey species of interest to commercial or recreational fishers accounted for only 1.3% of the diet. These results are applicable only to the 25% of the species total population that forages in Pelorus Sound. An investigation of the diet elsewhere in Marlborough Sounds is recommended in order to determine if the small population size and restricted distribution of King Shags are related to the availability of food.

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