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Quantifying the relative impact of hunting and oiling on Brünnich’s guillemots in the North-west Atlantic

Published on 2019in Polar Research1.15
· DOI :10.33265/polar.v38.3378
Morten Frederiksen32
Estimated H-index: 32
(AU: Aarhus University),
Jannie Fries Linnebjerg6
Estimated H-index: 6
(AU: Aarhus University)
+ 2 AuthorsGregory J. Robertson28
Estimated H-index: 28
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Abstract
Brunnich’s guillemot (Uria lomvia), or thick-billed murre, is an abundant pan-Arctic seabird, but several Atlantic breeding populations are declining. The species is subject to traditional harvest in the important wintering areas off west Greenland and Newfoundland, and has been subject to chronic oil pollution on the east coast of Canada. Until recently, knowledge of winter distribution has been insufficient to assess the impact of these mortality sources on specific breeding populations. We collate existing information on mortality from bag statistics in Greenland and Canada and studies of oiling off Newfoundland, as well as new data on age distribution in the harvest. Based on the results of recent tracking studies, we construct a spatially explicit population model that allocates hunting and oiling mortality to breeding populations and estimates the relative impact on their growth rate. Results indicate that annual population growth rate is depressed by 0.011–0.041 (approximately 1%–4%) by anthropogenic mortality sources. In addition to affecting local breeders, hunting in Greenland mainly affects declining breeding populations in Svalbard and Iceland, while hunting and oiling in Newfoundland mainly affect guillemots breeding in Arctic Canada and north-west Greenland, where most populations are relatively stable. The strongest relative impact is predicted on the small breeding population in Atlantic Canada, which winters mainly on the Newfoundland Shelf and therefore is exposed to both hunting and oiling. Our results clarify the relationships between hunting in Greenland and Canada and growth of specific breeding populations, and thus have major implications for harvest management of guillemots.
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Published on Oct 1, 2018in Polar Biology2.00
Jannie Fries Linnebjerg6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Lund University),
Morten Frederiksen32
Estimated H-index: 32
(AU: Aarhus University)
+ 3 AuthorsThorkell L. Thórarinsson3
Estimated H-index: 3
Like many seabirds, auks spend most of the year in offshore areas. Information on which oceanic areas they rely on throughout the winter is therefore important in understanding their population dynamics and establishing appropriate conservation measures. The breeding populations of Thick-billed Murres (Uria lomvia), Common Murres (Uria aalge) and Razorbills (Alca torda) in Iceland have been reported declining for the last 30 years. Thick-billed Murres have shown the most alarming rate of decreas...
Published on Aug 1, 2016in Biological Conservation4.45
Morten Frederiksen32
Estimated H-index: 32
(AU: Aarhus University),
Sébastien Descamps17
Estimated H-index: 17
(NPI: Norwegian Polar Institute)
+ 16 AuthorsThorkell L. Thórarinsson3
Estimated H-index: 3
Pelagic seabirds are exposed to an array of potential threats during the non-breeding period, and effective management of these threats on a large scale requires knowledge of which populations winter where. Thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) are emblematic of this conservation challenge, since they breed widely in the circumpolar Arctic, with many declining populations in the Atlantic. Threats facing murres include hunting, oil spills, bycatch and oceanic change influencing prey availability. Pre...
Published on Nov 20, 2014in Arctic1.43
Anthony J. Gaston43
Estimated H-index: 43
,
Gregory J. Robertson28
Estimated H-index: 28
Banding of Thick-billed Murres Uria lomvia in the Canadian Arctic was initiated by L.M. Tuck in the 1950s, when he visited three of the largest breeding colonies in Canada. Up to 2010, banding had been carried out at eight of the 10 major breeding colonies, with totals of more than 1000 birds banded at Coburg Island and Cape Hay, Bylot Island, in the High Arctic and at Digges Sound and Coats Island in northern Hudson Bay. Because murres are long-lived birds, large-scale banding can continue to p...
Published on Aug 1, 2014in Polar Biology2.00
Flemming Merkel16
Estimated H-index: 16
(AU: Aarhus University),
Aili L Labansen5
Estimated H-index: 5
+ 6 AuthorsKaj Kampp9
Estimated H-index: 9
(UCPH: University of Copenhagen)
Large population declines were reported for the thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia) in Greenland for the period 1930s–1980s, but no national status has been published for the past 20 years. Meanwhile, the murres have gained more protection and several human-induced mortality factors have been markedly reduced. Here, we give an updated status based on the past 30 years of murre count data. The total Greenland population in 2011 was estimated to 468,300 birds (95 % CI 430,700–505,900) or around 342,0...
Published on Dec 1, 2013in Oecologia2.92
Sébastien Descamps17
Estimated H-index: 17
,
Hallvard Strøm16
Estimated H-index: 16
,
Harald Steen24
Estimated H-index: 24
Analysis of synchrony in population fluctuations is a central topic in ecology. It can help identify factors that regulate populations, and also the scales at which these factors exert their influence. Using long-term data from seven Brunnich’s guillemot colonies in Svalbard, Norway, we determined that year to year population fluctuations were synchronized in six of the seven colonies. The seventh colony was located farther away and in a different oceanographic system. Moreover, all seven coloni...
Published on Mar 1, 2013in Journal of Animal Ecology4.36
Guillaume Péron13
Estimated H-index: 13
(CSU: Colorado State University)
Summary 1. Demographic compensation, the increase in average individual performance following a perturbation that reduces population size, and, its opposite, demographic overadditivity (or superadditivity) are central processes in both population ecology and wildlife management. A continuum of population responses to changes in cause-specific mortality exists, of which additivity and complete compensation constitute particular points. The position of a population on that continuum influences its...
Published on Aug 1, 2012in Polar Biology2.00
Anthony J. Gaston15
Estimated H-index: 15
(EC: Environment Canada),
Mark L. Mallory18
Estimated H-index: 18
(Acadia University),
H. Grant Gilchrist12
Estimated H-index: 12
(EC: Environment Canada)
Canada’s eastern Arctic (Nunavut and Arctic Quebec—Nunavik, N of 60°) supports large numbers of seabirds in summer. Seabird breeding habitat in this region includes steep, rocky coasts and low-lying coasts backed by lowland sedge-meadow tundra. The former areas support colonial cliff- and scree-nesting seabirds, such as murres and fulmars; the latter inland or coastal seabirds, such as terns, gulls and jaegers. The region supports some 4 million breeding seabirds, of which the most numerous are ...
Published on Jun 1, 2012in Diversity and Distributions4.09
Morten Frederiksen32
Estimated H-index: 32
(AU: Aarhus University),
Børge Moe24
Estimated H-index: 24
+ 28 AuthorsLorraine S. Chivers6
Estimated H-index: 6
('QUB': Queen's University Belfast)
Aim: An understanding of the non-breeding distribution and ecology of migratory species is necessary for successful conservation. Many seabirds spend the non-breeding season far from land, and information on their distribution during this time is very limited. The black-legged kittiwake, Rissa tridactyla, is a widespread and numerous seabird in the North Atlantic and Pacific, but breeding populations throughout the Atlantic range have declined recently. To help understand the reasons for the dec...
Published on May 21, 2012in Marine Ecology Progress Series2.36
Paul A. Smith18
Estimated H-index: 18
,
Anthony J. Gaston43
Estimated H-index: 43
Conditions in arctic marine environments are changing rapidly, and understanding the link between environmental and demographic parameters could help to predict the conse- quences of future change for arctic seabirds. Over 20 yr (1988 to 2007), we studied colony atten- dance, adult survival and reproductive success of thick-billed murres, as well as the departure masses and diets of their chicks at Coats Island, Nunavut, Canada (62.95° N, 82.00° W). We eval- uated how each parameter responded to...
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