Presentation Abstract

Puget Sound, situated in the southern portion of the Salish Sea, supports approximately 172 marine bird species that face a multitude of threats, ranging from chronic oiling to entanglement in derelict fishing gear. As local population numbers shift due to both intrinsic and extrinsic forcing (e.g., on the breeding grounds), understanding the pattern of species' use of habitats and locations across the Sound can inform conservation planning. Using data collected by the Puget Sound Seabird Survey (PSSS) - a citizen science program that collects information on the abundance and distribution of marine birds in the nearshore environment throughout Puget Sound - we developed and applied hotspot detection methods to 15 marine bird species that utilize the nearshore waters of the Sound. We found that species distributions ranged from ubiquitous/uniform (e.g., Glaucous-winged Gulls Larus glaucescens, Double-crested Cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus and Horned Grebes Podiceps auritus), to highly location specific (e.g., Pigeon Guillemots Cepphus columba, Harlequin Ducks Histrionicus histrionicus and White-winged Scoters Melanitta fusca). We identified three different types of hotspot behavior: “seasonal contraction” in density or occupancy location(s), “hotspots in abundance” but not occupancy, and “hotspots in both occupancy and abundance.” Hotspot locations were species-group specific, probably resulting from differences in nearshore depth profile among locations. These depth associations likely correspond to feeding behavior and availability of foraging habitat. Hotspot detection can be a useful tool for delineating priority areas for conservation and management. The tools developed in this study can be used to identify both hot and cold spots and, if seasonality is included, to determine if the hotspots are stable or seasonally intermittent.

Session Title

Transboundary Monitoring of Marine Birds and Mammals in the Salish Sea

Keywords

Citizen science, Seabirds, Seabird hotspots, Marine birds, Puget Sound, Community science, Seabird occupancy

Conference Track

SSE7: Monitoring: Species and Habitats

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE7-186

Start Date

4-4-2018 1:45 PM

End Date

4-4-2018 2:00 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

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

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

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.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Share

COinS
 
Apr 4th, 1:45 PM Apr 4th, 2:00 PM

Some like it hot: using citizen science to identify marine bird hotspots in Puget Sound

Puget Sound, situated in the southern portion of the Salish Sea, supports approximately 172 marine bird species that face a multitude of threats, ranging from chronic oiling to entanglement in derelict fishing gear. As local population numbers shift due to both intrinsic and extrinsic forcing (e.g., on the breeding grounds), understanding the pattern of species' use of habitats and locations across the Sound can inform conservation planning. Using data collected by the Puget Sound Seabird Survey (PSSS) - a citizen science program that collects information on the abundance and distribution of marine birds in the nearshore environment throughout Puget Sound - we developed and applied hotspot detection methods to 15 marine bird species that utilize the nearshore waters of the Sound. We found that species distributions ranged from ubiquitous/uniform (e.g., Glaucous-winged Gulls Larus glaucescens, Double-crested Cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus and Horned Grebes Podiceps auritus), to highly location specific (e.g., Pigeon Guillemots Cepphus columba, Harlequin Ducks Histrionicus histrionicus and White-winged Scoters Melanitta fusca). We identified three different types of hotspot behavior: “seasonal contraction” in density or occupancy location(s), “hotspots in abundance” but not occupancy, and “hotspots in both occupancy and abundance.” Hotspot locations were species-group specific, probably resulting from differences in nearshore depth profile among locations. These depth associations likely correspond to feeding behavior and availability of foraging habitat. Hotspot detection can be a useful tool for delineating priority areas for conservation and management. The tools developed in this study can be used to identify both hot and cold spots and, if seasonality is included, to determine if the hotspots are stable or seasonally intermittent.