William A Montevecchi

William A Montevecchi
Memorial University of Newfoundland · Departments of Psychology, Biology and Ocean Sciences

PhD

About

396
Publications
74,506
Reads
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11,384
Citations
Introduction
Bill Montevecchi works at Memorial University of Newfoundland. His lab focuses Behavioral Ecology and Conservation Biology with the overarching goal of assessing seabird response to biophysical ocean change. Current projects include seabird x forage fish interactions; mitigation of seabird by-catch in fishing gear; climate, prey and human-induced pressures on foraging, migratory behavior and population ecology of Leach's Storm-Petrels, Common Murres and Northern Gannets.
Additional affiliations
January 2000 - January 2016
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Position
  • University Research Professor
September 1975 - present
Memorial University of Newfoundland
Position
  • University Research Professor
September 1971 - June 1975
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (396)
Article
Full-text available
Conservation of mobile organisms is difficult in the absence of detailed information about movement and habitat use. While the miniaturization of tracking devices has eased the collection of such information, it remains logistically and financially difficult to track a wide range of species across a large geographic scale. Predictive distribution m...
Article
Full-text available
Reproduction in procellariiform birds is characterized by a single egg clutch, slow development, a long breeding season and obligate biparental care. Female Leach’s Storm Petrels Hydrobates leucorhous, nearly monomorphic members of this order, produce eggs that are between 20 and 25% of adult body weight. We tested whether female foraging behaviour...
Article
Density-dependent prey depletion around breeding colonies has long been considered an important factor controlling the population dynamics of colonial animals.1, 2, 3, 4 Ashmole proposed that as seabird colony size increases, intraspecific competition leads to declines in reproductive success, as breeding adults must spend more time and energy to f...
Article
Seabird population size is intimately linked to the physical, chemical, and biological processes of the oceans. Yet, the overall effects of long‐term changes in ocean dynamics on seabird colonies are difficult to quantify. Here, we used dated lake sediments to reconstruct ~10,000‐years of seabird dynamics in the Northwest Atlantic to determine the...
Article
Full-text available
Offshore platforms, subsea pipelines, wells and related fixed structures supporting the oil and gas (O&G) industry are prevalent in oceans across the globe, with many approaching the end of their operational life and requiring decommissioning. Although structures can possess high ecological diversity and productivity, information on how they intera...
Article
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The global population of Leach’s Storm-Petrels (Hydrobates leucorhous), the smallest and most abundant breeding seabird species in eastern Canada, has declined substantially in recent decades. The species is listed as “Threatened” by the Committee On the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) and as “Vulnerable” by the International Unio...
Article
Full-text available
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) colonies near the species’ southernmost limits are experiencing plateaued or declining population growth and prolonged poor productivity. These trends have been linked to reductions in the availability of the species’ key prey, the Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus). Declines in mackerel availability have been ass...
Article
Full-text available
The relative importance of gene flow, genetic drift, and natural selection in driving genetic divergence of local populations, as well as the factors that disrupt gene flow in natural populations, are uncertain. Comparative analyses enable us to test explicit hypotheses regarding the roles of these factors. Gannets (Morus spp.) include three morpho...
Article
Full-text available
Every year, billions of birds undertake extensive migrations between breeding and non-breeding areas, facing challenges that require behavioural adjustments, particularly to flight timing and duration. Such adjustments in daily activity patterns and the influence of extrinsic factors (e.g., environmental conditions, moonlight) have received much mo...
Article
Full-text available
We describe the first known documentation of on-land foraging by Leach's Storm Petrels Oceanodroma leucorhoa, a behaviour that has been documented only once before among members of the family Hydrobatidae. During a rain/windstorm from 15 to 17 July 2020 in eastern Newfoundland, individuals fed on coastally spawning and beach-cast capelin Mallotus v...
Article
Full-text available
We describe the first known documentation of on-land foraging by Leach’s Storm Petrels Oceanodroma leucorhoa, a behaviour that has been documented only once before among members of the family Hydrobatidae. During a rain/windstorm from 15 to 17 July 2020 in eastern Newfoundland, individuals fed on coastally spawning and beach-cast capelin Mallotus v...
Article
Full-text available
Each winter, the North Atlantic Ocean is the stage for numerous cyclones, the most severe ones leading to seabird mass-mortality events called ‘‘winter wrecks.’’ During these, thousands of emaciated seabird carcasses are washed ashore along European and North American coasts. Winter cyclones can therefore shape seabird population dynamics by affect...
Article
Full-text available
The relative importance of gene flow, genetic drift, and natural selection in driving genetic divergence of local populations, as well as the factors that disrupt gene flow in natural populations, are uncertain. Comparative analyses enable us to test explicit hypotheses regarding the roles of these factors. Gannets (Morus spp.) include three morpho...
Article
Full-text available
The conservation of migratory marine species, including pelagic seabirds, is challenging because their movements span vast distances frequently beyond national jurisdictions. Here, we aim to identify important aggregations of seabirds in the North Atlantic to inform ongoing regional conservation efforts. Using tracking, phenology, and population da...
Article
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Essay written for the Journal of Ocean Technology special issue: Smart Fisheries.
Article
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In the eastern North Atlantic, declines in the volume of Atlantic Puffin (Fratercula arctica Linnaeus, 1758) eggs have been associated with shifts in the marine ecosystem, such as changes in the abundance of forage fishes and increasing sea-surface temperatures. In the western North Atlantic, where similar shifts in oceanographic conditions and cha...
Article
Full-text available
We document unprecedented abandonments and breeding failures by Northern Gannets in eastern Canada at Cape St. Mary’s, Bonaventure Island, and the Magdalen Islands. These events were associated with a marine heat wave during chick rearing in the late summer of 2012. The rapid onset of abandonment at Cape St. Mary’s also coincided with intense light...
Article
Full-text available
Migratory marine species cross political borders and enter the high seas, where the lack of an effective global management framework for biodiversity leaves them vulnerable to threats. Here, we combine 10,108 tracks from 5775 individual birds at 87 sites with data on breeding population sizes to estimate the relative year-round importance of nation...
Article
Full-text available
https://arctox.cnrs.fr/en/home/ Mercury (Hg) is a natural trace element found in high concentrations in top predators, including Arctic seabirds. Most current knowledge about Hg concentrations in Arctic seabirds relates to exposure during the summer breeding period when researchers can easily access seabirds at colonies. However, the few studies f...
Preprint
Full-text available
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) colonies near the species’ southernmost limits are experiencing plateaued or declining population growth and prolonged poor productivity. These trends have been linked to reductions in the availability of the species’ key prey, the Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus).Declines in mackerel availability have been asso...
Article
Full-text available
We explored the implications of reaching the Paris Agreement Objective of limiting global warming to <2°C for the future winter distribution of the North Atlantic seabird community. We predicted and quantified current and future winter habitats of five North Atlantic Ocean seabird species (Alle alle, Fratercula arctica, Uria aalge, Uria lomvia and...
Preprint
Full-text available
Unprecedented abandonments and breeding failures by Northern Gannets at the southern limit of their breeding range at Cape St. Mary’s, Bonaventure Island, and the Magdalen Islands, Canada were associated with a marine heat wave during chick rearing in the late summer of 2012.
Article
Full-text available
Seabirds that form large colonies often act as biovectors that transport and concentrate large amounts of nutrients, metals, and contaminants from marine feeding areas to inland breeding grounds. This enrichment can potentially transform and structure primary productivity, vegetation communities, and species richness. In a previous paleolimnologica...
Article
Full-text available
Aim The United States Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) has considerable offshore wind energy potential. Capturing that resource is part of a broader effort to reduce CO2 emissions. While few turbines have been constructed in U.S. waters, over a dozen currently planned offshore wind projects have the potential to displace marine birds, potenti...
Article
Spatial patterns of breeding seabirds are influenced by the distribution of resources in relation to the colony and the density of conspecifics from the same or adjacent colonies. We conducted an inter-colony comparison of foraging space use and behavior, diet, and reproductive success of common murres Uria aalge breeding at a large offshore and a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Northern Gannet associations with climate change and prey [mackerel] conditions differ at the northern and southern limits of their breeding range. At the southen limit in Canada, breeeding success is poor and the population is stable or decreasing. At the northern limit in North Norway and the the Arctic, the population is increasing and colonies...
Article
Exposure to oil can have long-term impacts on migratory birds. Following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), we investigated potential impacts of oil exposure on a population of northern gannets (Morus bassanus) that breed on Bonaventure Island (Québec, Canada) and winter in GOM and along the U.S. Atlantic coast (AC). Bl...
Presentation
Full-text available
Overview The GIS tool is attractive and seemingly user-friendly. We do however have some concerns about its capability, utility and real-time relevance. The data layers in the Physical Environment contain only information on bathymetry and atmospheric light. Layers for ocean temperature, salinity, sea ice, icebergs, etc. need to be included. Withou...
Article
Full-text available
The Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration Trustees for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill assessed the external oiling of migratory bird species dependent on open water in the Gulf of Mexico following the aforementioned spill. The assessment was designed to evaluate birds that use open water during the winter within 40 km of the Gulf shor...
Article
Full-text available
Many animal populations are under stress and declining. For numerous marine bird species, only recent or sparse monitoring data are available, lacking the appropriate temporal perspective needed to consider natural, long-term population dynamics when developing conservation strategies. Here, we use a combination of established palaeoenvironmental a...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
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The Patagonian Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem supports high levels of biodiversity and endemism and is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. Despite the important role marine predators play in structuring ecosystems, areas of high diversity where multiple predators congregate remains poorly known on the Patagonian Shelf. Here, we...
Article
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An overview of the precipitous population decline of Leach's Storm-Petrels and research investigations of potential causal drivers.
Article
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Capelin are a focal forage species in the Northwest Atlantic ecosystem as they act as an energy conduit from lower to higher trophic levels. Fisheries and Oceans Canada determined that the Newfoundland capelin stock (Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization Divisions 2J3KL) suffered an order of magnitude decline in biomass in 1990-91. This collaps...
Presentation
Full-text available
Report to Senate Standing Committee on Bill C-69 Environmental Assessment
Article
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Shearwaters and petrels (hereafter petrels) are highly adapted seabirds that occur across all the world’s oceans. Petrels are a threatened seabird group comprising 124 species. They have bet-hedging life histories typified by extended chick rearing periods, low fecundity, high adult survival, strong philopatry, monogamy and long-term mate fidelity...
Presentation
Full-text available
Book Review - Richards + Gaston 2018 Birds of Nunavut
Article
We document the first evidence of predation by invasive eastern coyotes Canis latrans on breeding seabirds on the island of Newfoundland, Canada. We detail kills of 110 Northern Gannets Morus bassanus (50 adults, 60 large pre-fledgling chicks) nesting on mainland cliffs at the Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve. During nocturnal predation, late in...
Article
Full-text available
Aim Climate change is altering marine ecosystems worldwide and is most pronounced in the Arctic. Economic development is increasing leading to more disturbances and pressures on Arctic wildlife. Identifying areas that support higher levels of predator abundance and biodiversity is important for the implementation of targeted conservation measures a...
Presentation
Full-text available
Merging perspectives on a common loon and oil company self-reporting of maine pollution
Article
Full-text available
We document the first evidence of predation by invasive eastern coyotes Canis latrans on breeding seabirds on the island of Newfoundland, Canada. We detail kills of 110 Northern Gannets Morus bassanus (50 adults, 60 large pre-fledgling chicks) nesting on mainland cliffs at the Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve. During nocturnal predation, late in...
Presentation
Full-text available
Independent assessment of eastern Canadian offshore oil drilling propgram EIS
Chapter
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Contrasts the ornithological information by Peter Stuwitz [1st scientist to visit Funk Island] and J J Audubon.
Chapter
Full-text available
Consideration of environmental assessment of low-level military flying in Labrador
Article
From an ocean-basin collapse to a limited reopening, the Newfoundland northern cod fishery is challenged by ecological and economic sustainability. Pivotal factors influencing resource sustainability involve the use of gillnets as the main fishing method and the perception of cod as a low value commodity. Considering gillnetting and two other metho...
Presentation
Full-text available
WHILE pressures for academic specialization appear ever increasing, Leslie Tuck's endeavors are a refreshing inspiration to amateurs and professionals alike. Les was a self-educated naturalist whose interests developed into research studies of scientific excellence. Born on 22 July 1911 in Shoal Harbour, Newfoundland to Magistrate Caleb and Susan M...
Article
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Masters student Yann Roxel considers theeconomic, environmental and working pros and cons of the different types of fishing gear - gillnets, hand-lines and pots - used in the northern cod fishery in Newfoundland . Hand-lines and pots provided the most sustainable economic and environmental options given the current depressed state of the stock. Byc...
Article
Full-text available
The Gannet Morus bassanus is one of the seabirds considered most at risk from collision mortality at offshore wind farms in UK waters, so a better understanding of migration routes informs assessments of risk for different populations. Deployment of geolocators on breeding adults at the Bass Rock, Scotland, and Skrúður, Iceland, showed that the tim...
Article
Full-text available
The present results are generated from long-term monitoring schemes of seabird prey harvests off Newfoundland. They are focused on pelagic fish and squid harvests by northern gannets (Sula bassana) and common murres (Uric aalge). Over a 16-year period from 1977-1992, there have been increases in diversity and interannual shifts in the prey harvests...
Article
Full-text available
Despite their importance in marine food webs, much has yet to be learned about the spatial ecology of small seabirds. This includes the Leach's storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa, a species that is declining throughout its Northwest Atlantic breeding range. In 2013 and 2014, we used global location sensors to track foraging movements of incubating...
Article
Full-text available
Despite their importance in marine food webs, much has yet to be learned about the spatial ecology of small seabirds. This includes the Leach's storm-petrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa, a species that is declining throughout its Northwest Atlantic breeding range. In 2013 and 2014, we used global location sensors to track foraging movements of incubating...
Data
Incubation foraging trip metrics according to individual and colony. (XLSX)