Carolina Proaño

Carolina Proaño

IMPRS Doctoral Student
Department Wikelski
MPI of Animal Behavior

Main Focus

Movement ecology and its implications on the conservation of the critically endangered Galapagos Petrel Pterodroma phaeopygia
The Galapagos Petrel (Pterodroma phoepygia) is a critically endangered seabird that nests in the Galápagos Islands. Introduced species and habitat loss are the main causes of their population decline. Rats and feral pigs are the main predators of eggs and chicks in the nesting grounds of this borrowing species. Agricultural activities are responsible for the loss of suitable habitat. Galapagos petrels spend most of their lives at-sea searching for food. Nonetheless, very little information was available on their at-sea activities, distribution and migration patterns vital information for conservation and management strategies. Therefore, we undertook a three year tracking campaign to study the movements of Galapagos Petrels during both breeding and non-breeding stages. We used satellite telemetry (Argos PTT) on three separate islands to track chick-rearing birds. Light-based geolocation (GLS) was used to reveal the post breeding migration. Our preliminary results show for the first time that Galapagos Petrels present foraging inter-island variations, dispersing outside the Galapagos Marine reserve during chick-rearing period. Galapagos Petrels cover immense distances, traveling 3,000km towards the continental shelf during their non-breeding season. The Galapagos Petrel's foraging movements evaluated in this study, present this species vulnerability on a broader spectrum that should be taken into account for it's conservation measures. 

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2009 - 2010 Research collaboration, U.S. Geological Survey
  • 2007 - 2008 Research assistant, Galapagos Islands
  • 2007 BSc in Applied Ecology, San Francisco de Quito University, Ecuador
  • 2006-2007 Research assistant, Laboratory of Ecology and Animal Behavior, San Francisco University of Quito, Ecuador
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