Marine Bird Mapping and Assessment
Mapping the Distribution, Abundance and Risk Assessment of Marine Birds in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean
This project developed a series of maps depicting the distribution and probability of occurrence of marine birds in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. The maps are intended to be used for informing decisions about siting offshore facilities; marine spatial planning; and other uses requiring maps of seabird distributions.
This project developed a series of maps depicting the distribution and probability of occurrence of marine birds in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean. The goal was to develop and demonstrate techniques to document and predict areas of frequent use and aggregations of birds and the relative risk to marine birds within these areas. The resulting map products are intended to help inform decisions about siting offshore facilities; marine spatial planning; and other uses requiring maps of seabird distributions.
This North Atlantic LCC project supported several components of map and technique development by leveraging several large, ongoing projects funded by BOEM, DOE, USGS, and NOAA and involving research groups at the Biodiversity Research Institute, NC State University, CUNY-Staten Island, the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, and the NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science-Biogeography Branch.
This project also integrated with and informed work underway by NOAA’s Biogeography Division that is predicting seabird occurrences in the mid-Atlantic and New York Bight.
LCC Staff Contact: Scott Schwenk
The project is complete. North Carolina State University developed spatial models (exposure maps) for 24 species of marine birds and a final report [large file] for the project. The Biodiversity Research Institute updated seabird data for the USGS Atlantic Seabird Compendium so that they could be used by NC State in modeling. Richard Veit completed review of the historical USGS database on marine birds to correct apparent errors (e.g., mislabeled species) and advised how to handle uncertainties in bird identification. Brian Kinlan (contractor to NOAA) completed coordinating work with other investigators as part of the project.
In August 2013, a seminar was given that discussed progress towards developing maps depicting the distribution, abundance and relative risk to marine birds from offshore activities (e.g., wind energy development) in the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.
NALCC Funding- $144,967
(Note, several projects are underway to assess marine bird distributions in the North Atlantic, such as work supported by NOAA, DOE, and BOEM. Users may wish to investigate products from these projects as well.)
May 2016 update: this report and maps were revised it correct two species that were originally mislabeled: Black-capped Petrel (BCPE) was changed to Black Scoter (BLSC) and Black Tern (BLTE) was changed to Black-legged Kittiwake (BLKI).
Download link for Final Report plus project datasets (occurrence, large counts, and covariates) [Large File]
View maps from final report on Data Basin (Scroll down to Marine Bird Assessment folder)