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Project Information

Title: Long-term Monitoring of Marine Bird Abundance and Habitat Associations during Fall and Winter in Prince William Sound

Project Year and Number: 2018: 18120114-E

Other Fiscal Years and Numbers for this Project: 2017: 17120114-E, 2016: 12120114-C, 2015: 12120114-C, 2014: 14120114-C, 2014: 12120114-C, 2013: 13120114-C, 2013: 12120114-C, 2012: 12120114-C

Principal Investigator (PI): Mary Anne Bishop, PWSSC

Assisting Personnel: None

Research Location:

Restoration Category:

Injured Resources Addressed: Common Loons , Common Murres , Cormorants , Harlequin Ducks , Kittlitz's Murrelets , Marbled Murrelets , Pacific Herring , Pigeon Guillemot , Recreation & Tourism , Subsistence

Abstract: The fall-winter marine bird surveys in Prince William Sound (PWS) will continue to build upon a 10-year time series of marine bird abundance and habitat associations (2007-2017) and are further integrated with forage fish assessments of prey availability and humpback whale prey consumption and population monitoring. All three projects will share logistics, timing, and location of sampling. Marine bird surveys occur onboard research vessels conducting oceanographic, fisheries, or marine mammal surveys, thereby increasing opportunities for cross-project collaboration and reducing project costs. We use established protocols employed by all other Gulf Watch Alaska marine bird survey efforts (Kachemak Bay/Cook Inlet, Seward Line/Gulf of Alaska, PWS summer). For FY18, we have identified four fall-winter marine bird cruises: PWS Science Center Ocean Tracking Network maintenance cruise (February), Gulf Watch Alaska Pelagic Integrated Predator Prey Surveys (September), Alaska Department of Fish and Game spot shrimp survey (October), and a NOAA pollock cruise (November). Of the marine birds that overwinter in PWS, nine species were initially injured by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, including three species that have not yet recovered or their recovery is unknown (pigeon guillemot, marbled murrelet, and Kittlitz’s murrelet). Fall through winter are critical periods for survival as food tends to be relatively scarce or inaccessible, the climate more extreme, light levels and day length reduced, and water temperatures colder. By monitoring marine birds during fall and winter we will improve our predictive models of species abundance and distribution across PWS in relation to biological and physical environmental factors. Our long-term monitoring has shown that the nonbreeding season cannot be characterized as a single time period when describing marine bird distribution and suggests that multiple surveys are required to quantify wintering populations and understand changes in marine bird distribution. Our participation in the Gulf Watch Alaska pelagic integrated predator-prey surveys will allow us to identify and estimate the forage biomass at the same locations in which marine birds and humpback whales are feeding, which will provide comparable information on both predator density and prey availability. We are not proposing any major changes to this project for FY18.


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Proposal: View PDF (210 KB)

Funding Recommendations: View

Funding Detail For: 2018

Quarterly Project Tasks For: 2018

Annual Report: 2018: View (1,652 KB)

Final Report: Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us

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
2017: 17120114-E View (PDF) 2017: View (PDF)
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets
2016: 12120114-C View (PDF) 2016: Due 09/01/2016
2015: View (PDF)
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets
2014: 14120114-C Not Available 2014: View (PDF)
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets
2014: 12120114-C View (PDF) 2014: View (PDF)
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets
2013: 13120114-C Not Available 2013: Due 09/01/2013
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets
2013: 12120114-C View (PDF) 2013: View (PDF)
2012: View (PDF)
Final Report Not Available - For Current Status Please Contact Us No datasets