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Plastic pollution is ubiquitous throughout the marine environment, yet estimates of the global abundance and weight of floating plastics have lacked data, particularly from the Southern Hemisphere and remote regions. Here we report an estimate of the total number of plastic particles and their weight floating in the world's oceans from 24 expeditions(More)
No-take zones may protect populations of targeted marine species and restore the integrity of marine ecosystems, but it is unclear whether they benefit top predators that rely on mobile pelagic fishes. In South Africa, foraging effort of breeding African penguins decreased by 30 per cent within three months of closing a 20 km zone to the competing(More)
Examples of sympatric speciation in nature are rare and hotly debated. We describe the parallel speciation of finches on two small islands in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean. Nesospiza buntings are a classic example of a simple adaptive radiation, with two species on each island: an abundant small-billed dietary generalist and a(More)
The house mouse, Mus musculus, is one of the most widespread and well-studied invasive mammals on islands. It was thought to pose little risk to seabirds, but video evidence from Gough Island, South Atlantic Ocean shows house mice killing chicks of two IUCN-listed seabird species. Mouse-induced mortality in 2004 was a significant cause of extremely poor(More)
Worldwide fisheries generate large volumes of fishery waste and it is often assumed that this additional food is beneficial to populations of marine top-predators. We challenge this concept via a detailed study of foraging Cape gannets Morus capensis and of their feeding environment in the Benguela upwelling zone. The natural prey of Cape gannets (pelagic(More)
Changes in animal population size are driven by the interactions between intrinsic processes and extrinsic forces, and identifying the proximate mechanisms behind population change remains a fundamental question in ecology. Here we report on how measuring behavioural and state proxies of food availability among populations experiencing different growth(More)
Although it is well established that certain procellariiform seabirds use odour cues to find prey, it is not clear whether penguins use olfactory cues to forage. It is commonly assumed that penguins lack a sense of smell, yet they are closely related to procellariiforms and forage on similar types of prey in similar areas to many procellariiforms. Such(More)
Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly applied in conservation management to predict suitable habitat for poorly known populations. High predictive performance of SDMs is evident in validations performed within the model calibration area (interpolation), but few studies have assessed SDM transferability to novel areas (extrapolation),(More)
The white-chinned petrel (Procellaria aequinoctialis) is the seabird most often killed on longlines in the Southern Ocean and is listed as vulnerable to extinction. We estimated the population breeding at the Prince Edward Islands, the last breeding site for the nominate subspecies that lacks a recent population estimate. White-chinned petrel burrows are(More)