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Mark Jessopp, Tom Hart
University College Cork, Oxford University, Zooniverse
Biodiversity, monitoring, seabirds, Citizen Science
Phenology, Climate Change
Seabirds are important indicators of the health of the marine environment, making monitoring of populations particularly important. However, our ability to monitor populations across meaningful scales to disentangle local impacts from climate-driven impacts is hampered by the cost and difficulty in accessing sites.
Seabirdwatch is a seabird monitoring programme using time-lapse cameras to provide year-round data on breeding seabirds. Images are captured every hour throughout the year without the need for extended or repeat visits. Replicated across multiple monitoring sites through the arctic and beyond, we can extract data on the timing of breeding and breeding successs. To process all the data, we rely on citizen science volunteers to help classify seabirds in images and extract the data we need.
SeabirdWatch will provide a standardised monitoring tool that can be deployed at vast scales. This will enable comparisons to be made between sites to determine how seabirds are responding to local impacts as well as effects of climate change. Changes in breeding success are an early warning of future population changes and an opportunity to initiate targeted conservation initiatives.
kittiwake; seabird; monitoring; citizen science