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Analysis of seabird observation and satellite tracking data in the Falkland Islands to assess suitability for proposing Marine Important Bird Areas

Forster, Isaac Parlan (2010) Analysis of seabird observation and satellite tracking data in the Falkland Islands to assess suitability for proposing Marine Important Bird Areas. MSc(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

Developing marine protected areas has become a priority for many conservation organizations and governments worldwide. Defining such areas robustly requires considerable resources, however the use of seabirds as biosystem indicators provides an option to reduce the expenditure and effort required as they are relatively easy to study, and act as bio-monitors of ecosystem change. The Falkland Islands seabird population has been extensively examined both at sea by observers on fishing and research vessels, and on land in telemetry projects. This project collated multiple at-sea observer and satellite tracking dataset sets to examine whether sites of high species numbers or abundance were linked to seabed bathymetry, to assess whether listed threatened species were found in particular locations, and to discover if any areas showed evidence of hotspot foraging locations for multiple species. The study found that data collected by at-sea observers showed no demonstrable link between seabed bathymetry, and distance from land with areas containing a high number of unique species, aggregations of listed threatened species, or locations with high seabird abundance. Despite using the same observation techniques, the study also showed a large variation between the observer data sets, and with previously conducted at-sea survey research in the Falklands. The collation and analysis of multiple satellite data sets found small geographic areas of high usage by the four tracked species in comparison to their total foraging range. With the application of additional data through further satellite studies, there is the potential to designate these high usage areas as marine IBAs under the criteria proposed by BirdLife International.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Keywords: seabirds, satellite tracking, at-sea observer data, Marine Important Bird Areas, Falkland Islands, albatrosses
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Colleges/Schools: College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Furness, Prof. Robert W.
Date of Award: 2010
Depositing User: Mr Isaac P Forster
Unique ID: glathesis:2010-1603
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2010
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:43
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/1603

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