Seabird Sessions 32 and 60 Second Seabirds

grant-humphriesGrant RW Humphries
  • 10 Mar

Hey everyone,

Seabird Sessions 32 is coming up on MARCH 19th 2021 at 1700 GMT. Another couple of great papers lined up (see abstracts below).

Seabird Sessions is nearing it’s 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY!! (April 1st 2021). Keep your eyes peeled and your calendar clear for that day – we’ll be doing a special session and presenting some fantastic metrics summing up our adventures over the last year. I’m sure that David, Marianna and myself will be wearing hats of some form – there might be cake and wine (at least on my side).

Also – the latest #60SecondSeabirds has dropped, with another one following close behind. In this one, we’ve got a video abstract that was submitted by Lauren Roman on her new paper published in Environmental Research Letters:
If you have a recently published paper and want to put together a 60 second video of yourself summarizing your paper for #60SecondSeabirds, drop me an e-mail.


Warwick-Evans, V., Santora, J., Waggitt, J.J., and Trathan, P.N. 2021. Multi-scale assessment of distribution and density of procellariiform seabirds within the Northern Antarctic Peninsula marine ecosystem. ICES Journal of Marine Science. fsab020
Abstract: The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions on earth, and it is likely that the abundance and distribution of marine predators will change as a result.Procellariiform seabirds are highly mobile predators, which target specific habitat characteristics associated with underlying distributions of prey and areas of increased prey availability. We use ship surveys and hurdle models, to estimate the summer distribution and relative density of 11 seabird species within the northern Antarctic Peninsula marine ecosystem. Models differed among species; however, sea surface temperature and depth were frequently associated with seabird occurrence and had the greatest explanatory power across many species. Null models based on observation data were better at predicting seabird density than models that included environmental covariates. This suggests that the main driver of distribution patterns is the broad-scale habitat features, and fine-scale aggregations within these ranges are harder to predict. Our seabird distribution models reflect known habitat associations, species hotspots, and community organization relative to oceanic and coastal marine processes. Application of species distribution models will benefit the assessments of critical habitat and potential responses to climate change and anthropogenic disturbance, which will provide insight into how species may change in polar ecosystems.

Dupuis, B., Amélineau, F., Tarroux, A., Bjørnstad, O., Bråthen, V.S., Danielsen, J., Descamps, S., Fauchald, P., Hallgrimsson, G.T., Hansen, E.S. and Helberg, M., 2021. Light-level geolocators reveal spatial variations in interactions between northern fulmars and fisheries. Marine Ecology Progress Series.
Abstract: Seabird-fishery interactions are a known and common phenomenon of conservation concern. Here, we highlight how light-level geolocators provide promising opportunities to study these interactions. By examining raw light data, it is possible to detect encounters with artificial lights at night, while conductivity data give insight on seabird behaviour during encounters. We used geolocator data from 336 northern fulmars tracked from 12 colonies in the North-East Atlantic and Barents Sea during the non-breeding season to (1) confirm that detections of artificial lights correspond to encounters with fishing vessels by comparing overlap between fishing effort and both the position of detections and the activity of birds during encounters, (2) assess spatial differences in the number of encounters between wintering areas, and (3) test whether some individuals are more often foraging around fishing vessels than others. 88.1% of the tracks encountered artificial light at least once, with 9.5 ± 0.4 detections on average per 6-month non-breeding season. Encounters occurred more frequently where fishing effort is high, and some colonies had higher probabilities of encountering lights at night. During encounters, fulmars spent more time foraging and less time resting, strongly suggesting that artificial lights reflect the activity of birds around fishing vessels. Inter-individual variability in the probability of encountering light was high (range: 0-68 encounters/6-month), meaning that some individuals were more often associated with fishing vessels than others, independently of their colony of origin. Our study highlights the potential of geolocators to study seabird-fishery interactions at a large scale and a low cost.