Prey of Auckland Island shags (Leucocarbo colensoi) in winter
|Title||Prey of Auckland Island shags (Leucocarbo colensoi) in winter|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2012|
|Authors||Lalas, C, McConnell, H|
|Type of Article||Article|
|Keywords||Auckland Island shag, diet composition, Forsterygion, Leucocarbo colensoi, Octopus, Pseudophycis|
Diagnostic prey remains of Auckland Island shags (Leucocarbo colensoi) were analysed from 23 regurgitated pellets collected in August 2010 at Enderby Island, Auckland Islands. Allometric equations from a reference collection were applied to prey remains to provide estimates of prey length and wet mass. A minimum total of 1058 prey items from 7 genera were represented in pellets, with an estimated total wet mass of 13.2 kg. The mean number of prey items per pellet was 46 (range 7-90), with mean total prey mass per pellet of 589 g (range 86–1037 g). Small octopus (Octopus sp.) was by far the most important prey item and was present in all regurgitated pellets. It accounted for 57% of prey by number and 68% of prey by wet mass. Only 2 other genera contributed ≥ 5% towards the total mass of prey—red cod (Pseudophycis bachus) and triplefin (Forsterygion sp.) The overwhelming importance of octopus in the diet is unprecedented among shags for which diet composition is known.