BREAKING NEWS: By Chris Massey, Our Christmas Correspondent: Santa is on his way to Donegal.He was spotted circling over Malin Head in his magic sleigh just after 8.30pm by local people before several more positive sightings shortly afterwards from Fanad to Crolly.However we understand he hasn’t touched down in Donegal just yet as he’s checking wind patterns and power outages. However his first stop will be Arranmore Island in the next hour.His presence there later this evening had sparked a row earlier on Christmas Eve with both ferry companies operating between the island and Burtonport.Both ferry operators had claimed on Facebook that they would be bringing Santa, his reindeers and presents to the mainland after his visit to the island.Cllr David Alcorn had to hold an emergency meeting in a Burtonport bar to resolve the dispute this afternoon, with the RNLI now stepping in. “Santa was keen to save the reindeers’ energy for the rest of the night because it was so stormy and he decided to get the ferry across, but this row between the red and blue ferry companies over who was going to take Santa across wasn’t good,” said Cllr Alcorn.“There’s a row about this every year and there’s no need for it. They really should take turns.“Thankfully the Arranmore Tunnel is due to open before next Christmas and that’ll put an end to that. Merry Christmas,” he added.Meanwhile eye-witness Joe ‘Dearg’ Gallagher, speaking from outside the North Pole Bar in Drumfries, near Clonmany, said Santa stopped off for a drink with him around 8.35pm.Mr Gallagher admitted that he had “had a few” but insisted Santa had spoken to him in fluent Irish and confirmed he was heading for Arranmore first. “He was in good form, but I was surprised to see him drinking Pepsi. I thought he was a Coca-Cola man myself,” said 83-year-old Joe.He added: “Nollaig shona.”BREAKING NEWS: SANTA SPOTTED OFF DONEGAL COAST, BUT ROW SPARKED IN ARRANMORE was last modified: December 25th, 2013 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:arranmoredonegalSANTAvisit
The devil is in the detail: small-scale sexual segregation despite large-scale spatial overlap in the wandering albatross
Sexual segregation in foraging habitat occurs in many marine predators and is usually attributed to competitive exclusion, different parental roles of each sex or niche specialisation associated with sexual size dimorphism. However, relatively few studies have attempted to understand the patterns and underlying drivers of local-scale sexual segregation in marine predators. We studied habitat use, diet and feeding ecology of female and male wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans, fitted with GPS and stomach-temperature loggers during the chick-rearing period (austral winter) at South Georgia in 2009. During this period, when oceanographic conditions were anomalous and prey availability was low in waters near the breeding colony, the tracked wandering albatrosses showed high consistency in their foraging areas at a large spatial scale, and both males and females targeted sub-Antarctic and subtropical waters. Despite consistency in large-scale habitat use, males and females showed different foraging behaviours in response to oceanographic conditions at a smaller scale. Males appeared to be more opportunistic, scavenging for offal or non-target fish discarded by fishing vessels in less productive, oceanic waters. They exhibited sinuous movements, feeding mostly on large prey and consuming similar amounts of food during the outbound and return parts of the foraging trip. In contrast, females targeted natural productivity hotspots, and fed on a wide variety of fish and cephalopods. They commuted directly to these areas; most prey were ingested on the outbound part of the trip, and they often started their return after ingesting large prey at the farthest point from the colony. Together, these results indicate that sexual segregation in core foraging areas of wandering albatrosses is driven by sex-specific habitat selection due to the low availability of prey in local Antarctic waters. This segregation results in different feeding behaviour at local scales which may be explained by differing breeding roles and degree of parental investment by each sex, with females investing more than males in reproduction. Further investigations are necessary to confirm the existence of this pattern through time under contrasting environmental conditions and to identify the drivers responsible for local-scale sexual segregation in wandering albatrosses.