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Project Information

Title: Pigeon Guillemots Damage Assessment Closeout

Project Year and Number: 1992: B09

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: 1989: B09

Principal Investigator (PI): Karen Oakley, US Fish & Wildlife Service

Assisting Personnel: Kathy Kuletz

Research Location: Prince William Sound

Restoration Category: Damage Assessment

Injured Resources Addressed: Pigeon Guillemot

Abstract: Following the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the pigeon guillemot population of Naked, Peak, and Storey islands, located in the center of Prince William Sound, were studied to determine the effects of the spill. The guillemot population has been previously studied, thus pre-spill data was available for comparison. The objectives of the study include: determine if the total number of guillemots attending the colonies following the oil spill were significantly different; monitor nesting success and chick growth rates; monitor abundance and type of prey fed to chicks; determine if petroleum hydrocarbons were present in adults, unhatched eggs, dead chicks, and prey items; and identify potential restoration strategies. Preliminary data analysis suggests that the number of pigeon guillemots attending colonies in the Naked Island area was significantly lower following the oil spill. To what extent this decline was due to an overall decline of the Prince William Sound pigeon guillemot population or to the oil spill is unknown; further analysis is required. However, the most heavily oiled areas at Naked Island were the areas with the largest declines in numbers. Reproduction appeared to be similar to previous years; however, sample size was too small to estimate the rate of successful nesting.

A preliminary report of results has been prepared for this study but comprehensive data synthesis and analysis have not been completed and, in some cases, have not been initiated. Data analysis and the preparation of a final report will be essential for understanding the injuries the spill caused to pigeon guillemots. If this information is not clearly and completely available to those responsible for restoration, it will not be possible to adequately address the restoration needs of the resource.


Geographic Regions Prince William Sound
Fields of Expertise Contaminants/Toxicology

Proposal: PDF Not Available

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 1992

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 1992

Annual Report: 1992: Not Applicable

Final Report: View

Publications from this Project: None Available

More information may be available for this project under other years:

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Project Number Proposal Annual Reports Final Report Data
1989: B09 View (PDF) 1989: Not Applicable
See Project B09 See Project B09