Original Articles

The distribution of pelagic seabirds in relation to the oceanic environment of Gough Island

Published in: South African Journal of Marine Science
Volume 4, issue 1, 1986 , pages: 125–137
DOI: 10.2989/025776186784461666


The distribution and the abundance of flying seabirds are described in relation to the marine environment near Gough Island in the south Atlantic Ocean. Results from a combined seabird, hydrographic and hydro-acoustic survey are assessed in order to highlight possible biotic-abiotic associations. In accordance with recently published work, the macroscale abundance and species composition of avifauna are explained in terms of Gough Island's position between two major biogeographic zones and by the island's utilization as a breeding site for pelagic seabirds. On the mesoscale, seabird abundance was greatest in areas of hydrographical variability, where results from acoustic transects and net hauls suggested concentration of potential food items (i.e. zooplankton and micronekton).

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