Amelie Lescroel

Amelie Lescroel
Point Blue Conservation Science · Department of Informatics

Ph.D.
Research associate at Point Blue Conservation Science (Petaluma, USA)

About

59
Publications
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Introduction
My research focusses on the behavioral, demographic and energetic reponses of seabirds to environmental changes. I am especially interested into understanding how inter-individual differences in foraging behavior translates into differences in breeding performance and/or survival. I use a lot of different biologging techniques to answer these questions but I also love spending long hours in the field looking for bands...

Publications

Publications (59)
Article
Full-text available
Quantifying food intake in wild animals is crucial to many ecological and evolutionary questions, yet it can be very challenging, especially in the marine environment. Because foraging behavior can be inferred from dive recordings in many marine creatures, we hypothesized that specific behavioral dive variables can indicate food intake. To test thi...
Article
Full-text available
In colonial seabirds, differences in the nesting or fledging success have been associated with differences in nest position within the breeding aggregation (subcolony): less successful nests are located on the periphery, with more successful nests closer to the center. For Pygoscelid penguins, central nests tend to be larger, with nest size being a...
Article
Full-text available
Group-size variation is common in colonially breeding species, including seabirds, whose breeding colonies can vary in size by several orders of magnitude. Seabirds are some of the most threatened marine taxa and understanding the drivers of colony size variation is more important than ever. Reproductive success is an important demographic paramete...
Article
Age‐related variation in reproductive performance in long‐lived iteroparous vertebrate species is common, with performance being influenced by within‐individual processes, such as improvement and senescence, in combination with among‐individual processes, such as selective appearance and disappearance. Few studies of age‐related reproductive perfor...
Article
Full-text available
Seabirds are one of the most threatened of all bird groups, with a marked community-wide decline across the last decades. Yet, some seabird species are more resilient than others, and it is essential to study under which conditions even these highly resilient organisms are affected by global changes. Here, we report such a case in northern gannets...
Article
Intraspecific competition for food can be especially high in colonial breeding seabirds. To minimize colony-induced or annual foraging challenges, diet may vary among individuals, but few studies have simultaneously investigated the effects of both extrinsic conditions (e.g. colony or year effects) and parameters of an individual (e.g. sex, age, or...
Article
Full-text available
Inter-individual differences in demographic traits of iteroparous species can arise through learning and maturation, as well as from permanent differences in individual ‘quality’ and sex-specific constraints. As the ability to acquire energy determines the resources an individual can allocate to reproduction and self-maintenance, foraging behavior...
Article
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Understanding the causes of disease in Antarctic wildlife is crucial, as many of these species are already threatened by environmental changes brought about by climate change. In recent years, Antarctic penguins have been showing signs of an unknown pathology: a feather disorder characterised by missing feathers, resulting in exposed skin. During t...
Article
Fisheries modify ecosystem balance by harvesting through marine food webs and producing large amounts of discards subsidizing scavengers. Among them, seabirds are the most conspicuous and have been benefiting from anthropogenic food sources generated by fisheries. However, this modified feeding behaviour also exposes them to threats, such as accide...
Article
Full-text available
Migration is a fundamental behavioral process prevalent among a wide variety of animal taxa. As individuals are increasingly shown to present consistent responses to environmental cues for breeding or foraging, it may be expected that approaches to migration would present similar among-individual consistencies. Seabirds frequently show consistent i...
Article
Full-text available
Age variation in reproductive performance is well-documented but the mechanisms underlying this variation remain unclear. Foraging efficiency is likely to be a key source of demographic variation as it determines the amount of energy that can be invested in fitness-related activities. Evidence of age-related changes in the foraging efficiency of ad...
Article
Full-text available
In 2017/18, we recorded multiple instances of Adelie Penguin Pygoscelis adeliae nests containing three chicks at Cape Crozier, Ross Island, Antarctica. In one sub-colony, 0.67 % of nests had three chicks, or two chicks and one egg. We found that some Adelie Penguin pairs were willing to brood three chicks, as well as chicks that were not their own....
Article
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We assessed whether the mass of Adélie penguin Pygoscelis adeliae fledglings at 3 colonies of markedly disparate size on Ross Island, Ross Sea, correlated with their eventual return as subadults. We compared our results with those from Anvers Island, Bellingshausen Sea. Colony sizes at Ross Island have been increasing, contrary to decreasing size a...
Article
Full-text available
Seabirds and fisheries have been interacting from ancient times, sometimes with mutual benefits: Seabirds provided fishermen with visual cues of fish aggregations, and also fed upon food subsids generated by fishing activities. Yet fisheries and seabirds may also compete for the same resources, and their interactions can lead to additional seabird...
Article
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Reproductive timing in many taxa plays a key role in determining breeding productivity ¹, and is often sensitive to climatic conditions ² . Current climate change may alter the timing of breeding at different rates across trophic levels, potentially resulting in temporal mismatch between the resource requirements of predators and their prey ³ . Thi...
Article
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Evaluating the fitness of organisms is an essential step towards understanding their responses to environmental change. Connections between energy expenditure and fitness have been postulated for nearly a century. However, testing this premise among wild animals is constrained by difficulties in measuring energy expenditure while simultaneously mon...
Article
The family Papillomaviridae contains more than 320 papillomavirus types, with most having been identified as infecting skin and mucosal epithelium in mammalian hosts. To date, only nine non-mammalian papillomaviruses have been described from birds (n = 5), a fish (n = 1), a snake (n = 1), and turtles (n = 2). The identification of papillomaviruses...
Chapter
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Seabirds occurring south of the Antarctic Polar Front are composed of three groups: ice-obligate, ice-tolerant and ice-avoiding species. The ice-obligate species are, with rare exception, associated with sea ice, year round, or at least waters previously ice-covered during winter; if sea ice fails to form, as is increasingly the case in the Antarct...
Article
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Upwelling regions are highly productive habitats targeted by wide-ranging marine predators and industrial fisheries. In this study, we track the migratory movements of eight seabird species from across the Atlantic; quantify overlap with the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) and determine the habitat characteristics that drive this asso...
Poster
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When they search for food, animals are expected to minimise energy expenditure. During a foraging trip, they typically alternate between two ways of moving: either commuting towards/in-between profitable food patches, or actively searching for food within these patches. These active searching phases are more sinuous than travelling phases, and supp...
Article
Full-text available
Intrapopulation variability, especially individual foraging specialization, has been investigated in many species. Nevertheless, the repeatability of foraging behaviour remains poorly understood. In particular, whether individuals differ in their respective degrees of repeatability still remains to be determined. Here, we estimated foraging behavio...
Article
Full-text available
Body size, mass and condition can affect an organism’s ability to cope with variation in resource availability or metabolic demand, particularly as juveniles become independent of their parents. It follows that changes to parental provisioning efficiency (size and frequency of meals delivered) through intraspecific competition or environmental cond...
Article
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Unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly called drones, are being increasingly used in ecological research, in particular to approach sensitive wildlife in inaccessible areas. Impact studies leading to recommendations for best practices are urgently needed. We tested the impact of drone colour, speed and flight angle on the behavioural responses of malla...
Article
We investigated central place foraging (CPF) in the context of optimal foraging theory in Adélie penguins Pygoscelis adeliae of the southern Ross Sea by using satellite tracking and time-depth recorders to explore foraging at two spatio-temporal scales: within the day-to-day (sub-mesoscale: single foraging trip, 10s of km2) and the entire breeding...
Article
Full-text available
When animals move across a landscape, they alternate between active searching phases in areas with high prey density and commuting phases towards and in-between profitable feeding patches. Such active searching movements are more sinuous than travelling movements, and supposedly more costly in energy. Here we provide an empirical validation of this...
Article
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IN THE CONTEXT OF PREDICTED ALTERATION OF SEA ICE COVER AND INCREASED FREQUENCY OF EXTREME EVENTS, IT IS ESPECIALLY TIMELY TO INVESTIGATE PLASTICITY WITHIN ANTARCTIC SPECIES RESPONDING TO A KEY ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECT OF THEIR ECOLOGY: sea ice variability. Using 13 years of longitudinal data, we investigated the effect of sea ice concentration (SIC) o...
Article
Full-text available
Consistent intra-population variability in foraging behaviour is found among a wide range of taxa. Such foraging specialisations are common among marine vertebrates, yet it is not clear how individuals repeatedly locate prey or foraging sites at ocean-wide scales. Using GPS and time-depth loggers we studied the fine-scale foraging behaviour of cent...
Article
Full-text available
The juvenile phase is poorly known in Antarctic seabirds, despite being a critical period for individual survival. To better understand the ecology of young Antarctic seabirds, we surveyed for the first time the three-dimensional habitat use of six juvenile emperor penguins during their post-natal dispersal from Terre Adélie, using bio-telemetric t...
Article
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Colonial breeding is widespread among animals. Some, such as eusocial insects, may use agonistic behavior to partition available foraging habitat into mutually exclusive territories; others, such as breeding seabirds, do not. We found that northern gannets, satellite-tracked from 12 neighboring colonies, nonetheless forage in largely mutually exclu...
Article
Full-text available
Within a single animal species, different morphs can allow for differential exploitation of foraging niches between populations, while sexual size dimorphism can provide each sex with access to different resources. Despite being potentially important agents of evolution, resource polymorphisms, and the way they operate in wild populations, remain p...
Data
Full-text available
Literature review on Blue-eyed Shags: (a) sex-specific foraging behaviour, (b) details of studies, (c) test of Rensch’s rule, (d) effect of temperature on dive capacity, (e) effect of body mass and sex on dive capacity and (f) effect of dive depth on colony size. (PDF)
Technical Report
Full-text available
Understanding the relative effects of biotic and abiotic drivers of survival, and the interactions between them, is a key component in understanding the factors driving changes in animal populations. Body size, mass and condition may be important determinants of an organism’s ability to survive periods of low resource availiability or high metaboli...
Article
1. It is generally assumed that animal energy expenditure is limited by energy acquisition. 2. In a series of publications, Speakman, Król and colleagues argue that the capacity to dissipate metabolic heat may also limit maximum rates of energy expenditure in endotherms (heat dissipation limit theory — HDL theory). 3. The implications of the HDL th...
Article
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For land-breeding marine organisms such as seabirds, knowledge about their habitat use has mainly been gained through studies of breeding individuals that are constrained to return frequently to their breeding grounds. In this study we set out to measure whether: a) habitat selection in the non-breeding period predicts habitat selection in the bree...
Article
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We are among the scientists objecting to the eco-certification of Ross Sea Antarctic toothfish (Dissostichus mawsoni), as described by E. Stokstad in his News Focus story "Behind the eco-label, a debate over Antarctic toothfish" (24 September, p. 1596). The public perceives a certification by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to mean an environm...
Article
In animal populations, a minority of individuals consistently achieves the highest breeding success and therefore contributes the most recruits to future generations. On average, foraging performance is important in determining breeding success at the population level, but evidence is scarce to show that more successful breeders (better breeders) f...
Article
2 PRBO Conservation Science, Petaluma, California 94954, U.S.A. and Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Article
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The gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) is one of the most widespread penguin species and has been proven to be highly plastic in many aspects of its ecology. However, data from their sub-Antarctic range suggest an unexplained decline of their populations over the last 10–20 years, stressing the need for additional knowledge on their breeding ecology...
Article
1. Heterogeneity in individual quality (i.e. individuals having different performance levels that are consistent throughout life) can drive the demography of iteroparous species, but quality in the context of environmental variability has rarely been evaluated. 2. We investigated the demographic responses of a long-lived seabird, the Adélie penguin...
Article
Full-text available
Optimality models exist for diving endotherms, but are rarely tested with behavioural data or used to estimate oxygen reserves. We used a model for avian divers to study the extreme diving performances of blue-eyed shags. Time–depth recorders were deployed on 15 breeding Kerguelen shags, Phalacrocorax verrucosus. The shags regularly dived deeper th...
Article
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Knowing the depth zone of neutral buoyancy of divers is important because buoyancy can determine how animals manage their energy budget. In this study, we estimate the depth zone of neutral buoyancy of free-ranging cormorants for the first time, using time-depth recorders. We discovered that vertical ascent rates of 12 Crozet and 15 Kerguelen divin...
Article
Full-text available
Several sub-Antarctic penguin populations have exhibited decreasing trends in the last 5–20 years. At Iles Kerguelen, the gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) has decreased by approximately 30% over the last 15 years. This decrease is likely to be related to reduced food availability for this coastal species. We discuss this decrease with regard to th...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal seabirds are bound to be dependent on local marine resources. We hypothesize that the localization of the breeding colony will influence the foraging patterns of such predators. The foraging behavior of gentoo penguins Pygoscelis papua was investigated in contrasting marine environments at Kerguelen Archipelago over the 2002–03 and 2003–04...
Article
Full-text available
Benthic divers are dependent on local resources and may therefore adopt different foraging strategies to cope with their energetic requirements in varying situations. We investigated the diet of gentoo penguins (Pygoscelis papua) at Kerguelen Islands, comparing its spatial and temporal variations with the general prey distribution. The study was co...

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
This project has 3 main goals: 1) Determine how changing winter sea ice conditions in the Ross Sea affect the migration, behavior and survival of Adélie penguins and identify the carry-over effects (COEs) to subsequent reproduction, 2) Determine the interplay between extrinsic and intrinsic factors influencing COEs over multiple years of an individual’s lifetime, 3) Determine how climate change may affect population change at colonies via impacts to nesting habitat, interacting with individual quality and COEs.