Space partitioning without territoriality in gannets

Ewan D. Wakefield*, Thomas W. Bodey* (Corresponding Author), Stuart Bearhop* (Corresponding Author), Jez Blackburn, Kendrew Colhoun, Rachel Davies, Ross G. Dwyer, Jonathan A. Green, David Grémillet, Andrew L. Jackson, Mark J. Jessopp, Adam Kane, Rowena H.W. Langston, Amélie Lescroël, Stuart Murray, Mélanie Le Nuz, Samantha C. Patrick, Clara Péron, Louise M. Soanes, Sarah WanlessStephen C. Votier* (Corresponding Author), Keith C. Hamer* (Corresponding Author)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

253 Citations (Scopus)


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 exclusive areas and that these colony-specific home ranges are determined by density-dependent competition. This segregation may be enhanced by individual-level public information transfer, leading to cultural evolution and divergence among colonies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-70
Number of pages3
Issue number6141
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2013

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgments: Funding was provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (Standard Grant NE/H007466/1 to K.C.H., S.B., and S.C.V.), the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux, the Alderney Commission for Renewable Energy, the Beaufort Marine Research Award, and the European Union INTERREG projects CHARM III and FAME. We acknowledge use of and their analysis tools. Data reported in this paper are tabulated in the supplementary materials and archived by BirdLife International (


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