Presentation Title

Are the Salish Sea’s seabird populations linked to those in the California Current?: Implications for local mechanisms driving population trends

Session Title

The Biological and Physical Factors Driving Marine Bird Population Dynamics in the Salish Sea

Conference Track

Species and Food Webs

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2016 : Vancouver, B.C.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type of Presentation

Oral

Abstract

The marine bird community of the Salish Sea is composed of over 70 bird species that are relatively abundant and highly dependent upon marine resources for survival but their relative abundance changes dramatically throughout the year due to differences in the timing and extent of residency by migratory, over-wintering and local breeding seabird populations. Evidence suggests that several over-wintering species in particular have declined precipitously over the last several decades but that not all species are exhibiting declining populations. To provide additional insights into the health of Salish Sea seabird populations, we examine trends in breeding seabird populations (alcids and cormorants) over the past 15 years. For these same species, we also compare intra-specific seabird trends between the Salish Sea and California Current to determine whether or not the observed population changes are unique to the Salish Sea or part of a larger California Current trend. Finally, we assess the degree to which these marine ecosystems and their bird populations are linked by examining species-specific correlations between the California Current and Salish Sea. To gain insights into mechanisms driving Salish Sea population changes we qualitatively compare our breeding season results with results from our previous work on over-wintering populations. This comparison provides insights into various life history traits, such as diet and local breeding, on observed population trends.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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Are the Salish Sea’s seabird populations linked to those in the California Current?: Implications for local mechanisms driving population trends

2016SSEC

The marine bird community of the Salish Sea is composed of over 70 bird species that are relatively abundant and highly dependent upon marine resources for survival but their relative abundance changes dramatically throughout the year due to differences in the timing and extent of residency by migratory, over-wintering and local breeding seabird populations. Evidence suggests that several over-wintering species in particular have declined precipitously over the last several decades but that not all species are exhibiting declining populations. To provide additional insights into the health of Salish Sea seabird populations, we examine trends in breeding seabird populations (alcids and cormorants) over the past 15 years. For these same species, we also compare intra-specific seabird trends between the Salish Sea and California Current to determine whether or not the observed population changes are unique to the Salish Sea or part of a larger California Current trend. Finally, we assess the degree to which these marine ecosystems and their bird populations are linked by examining species-specific correlations between the California Current and Salish Sea. To gain insights into mechanisms driving Salish Sea population changes we qualitatively compare our breeding season results with results from our previous work on over-wintering populations. This comparison provides insights into various life history traits, such as diet and local breeding, on observed population trends.