Forage fish quality and implications for rhinoceros auklet chick growth.
Beaubier, J. 2005. Thesis Proposal Summary. Forage fish quality and implications for rhinoceros auklet chick growth. University of British Columbia.
Rhinoceros auklets breeding at Triangle Island provision their chicks with 4 main species of forage fish: pacific saury (Cololabis saira), pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus), juvenile rockfish (Sebastes spp.), and juvenile salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.), supplemented with a variety of other, less utilized species. The relative composition of each species in the diet varies within and between breeding seasons. It is difficult to discern what these diet changes imply energetically as information on the respective energy content of different prey species is lacking. To address this, I am investigating how prey quality varies both between and within-species, and identifying factors that may drive within-species variability. I am also examining how differences in prey quality affect the amount of energy received by chicks, and how this in turn may affect chick growth rates.