Advertisement

Global Issues for, and Profiles of, Arctic Seabird Protection: Effects of Big Oil, New Shipping Lanes, Shifting Baselines, and Climate Change

  • Grant R. W. Humphries
  • Falk Huettmann

Abstract

The Arctic is a delicate and changing ecosystem that is home to a variety of species, many of which are threatened. With the opening of the Northwest Passage as the result of an increasingly iceless Arctic, political and economic pressures will inevitably have impacts directly affecting wildlife and habitats. Seabirds that nest on Arctic islands and spend the majority of their life at sea are important indicators of marine systems, and widespread population decreases have been described. The lack of sea ice (= the essence of an Arctic ecosystem) will make such decreases worse. This chapter briefly discusses issues around seabird management in the Arctic, particularly focused on anthropogenic impacts such as oil development, shipping, and climate change. Specific topics covered include a short history of Arctic seabird management, the importance of open access data for seabird research and management, attraction of seabirds to and pollution from ships and oil platforms, potential impacts of oil spills, and the question of who will and should manage Arctic seabird populations effectively. A global overview of “seabirds as indicators” while baselines are shifting and trophic cascades occur in the ocean is provided (authored by Eric Woehler). It is recommended that to ensure the protection of seabirds in the Arctic, a minimum of six actions be followed: (1) establishment of statistically reliable baseline datasets, (2) increase in oil spill response and research, (3) much stronger sanctions against polluting vessels, (4) formation of an international management regime that can delineate meaningful marine protected areas, (5) increase in research for climate change mitigation of seabird populations, and (6) review and formation of an International Biodiversity Protection Treaty enforced by all Arctic Nations.

Keywords

Oily Sludge Seabird Population Glaucous Gull Ivory Gull Black Guillemot 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors are very thankful for the contribution made by E. Woehler (who also kindly provided the Textbox). F.H. appreciates the earlier communications and discussions on the (polar) seabird management subject with many experienced, sophisticated, and devoted people worldwide, including D. Ainley, A.W. Diamond, D. Carlson, O. Gilg, Yu Artukhin, I. Jones, H. Gundersen, B. Best, V. Spiridonov, B. Raymond, V. Wadley, M. Riddle, C. Zoeckler, K. Saitoh, M. Gavrilo, D. Cairns, T. Gaston, G. Divoky, M. Schmid, C. Fox, D. Kawai, P. Paquet, A. Bond and B. Bluhm. This is EWHALE Laboratory Publication #105.

References

  1. Alley RB, Marotzke J, Nordhaus WD, Overpeck JT, Peteet DM, Pielke RA Jr, Pierrehumbert RT, Rhines PB, Stocker TF, Talley LD, Wallace JM (2003) Abrupt climate change. Science 299:2005–2010PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Backensto SA (2010) Common ravens in Alaska’s North Slope oil fields: an integrated study using local knowledge and science. Dissertation, University of Alaska, FairbanksGoogle Scholar
  3. Baldwin JR (1994) Sea bird fowling in Scotland and Faroe. Folk Life 12:60–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barclay-Smith P (1959) The British contribution to bird protection. Ibis 101(1):115–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Benvenuti S, Bonadonna F, Dall’Antonia L, Gudmundsson GA (1998) Foraging flights of breeding thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) as revealed by bird-borne direction recorders. Auk 115(1):57–66CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Belgrano A, Fowler CW (2011) Ecosystem-based management of marine fisheries: an evolving perspective. Cambridge PressCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blais JM, Kimpe LE, McMahon D, Keatley BE, Mallory ML, Douglas MSW, Smol JP (2005) Arctic seabirds transport marine-derived contaminants. Science 309:445PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bluhm B, Watts D, Huettmann F (2010) Free database availability, metadata and the internet: an example of two high latitude components of the census of marine life. In: Cushman S, Huettmann F (eds) Spatial complexity informatics and wildlife conservation. Springer, Tokyo, pp 233–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bonadonna F, Caro S, Jouventin P, Nevitt GA (2006) Evidence that blue petrel, Halobaena caerulea, fledglings can detect and orient to dimethyl sulfide. J Exp Biol 209(pt 11):2165–2169PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bradstreet MSW, Cross WE (1982) Trophic relationships at high Arctic ice edges. Arctic 35(1):1–12Google Scholar
  11. Brekke B, Gabrielsen G (1994) Assimilation efficiency of adult kittiwakes and Brunnich’s guillemots fed capelin and Arctic cod. Polar Biol 14(4):279–284CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brigham LW (2010) Think again: the Arctic. Foreign Policy Sept/Oct:1–7Google Scholar
  13. Burger J (1997) Oil spills. Rutgers University Press, PiscatawayGoogle Scholar
  14. Cadee GC (2002) Seabirds and floating plastic debris. Mar Pollut Bull 44(11):1294–1295PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. CAFF (1996) International murre conservation strategy and action. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, ReykjavikGoogle Scholar
  16. CAFF (1997) Circumpolar eider conservation strategy and action plan. Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna, ReykjavikGoogle Scholar
  17. CAFF (2010) Arctic biodiversity trends 2010: selected indicators of change. CAFF International Secretariat, Akureyri, IcelandGoogle Scholar
  18. Cairns DK (1987) Seabirds as indicators of marine food supplies. Biol Ocean 5:261–271Google Scholar
  19. Carlson D (2010) A lesson in sharing. Nature (Lond) 469:293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Chapin FS, Kofinas GP, Folke C (2010) Principles of ecosystem stewardship: resilience-based natural resource management in a changing world. Springer, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  21. Cobb D, Corbett J, Gold M, Harder S, Lee L, Noblin R, et al (2009) Arctic marine shipping assessment: background research report on potential environmental impacts from shipping in the Arctic. Hein Rune SkjoldalGoogle Scholar
  22. Congdon BC, Krockenberger AK, Smithers BV (2005) Dual foraging and co-ordinate provisioning in a tropical procellariiform, the wedge-tailed shearwater. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 301:293–301CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Cunningham GB, Strauss V, Ryan PG (2008) African penguins (Spheniscus demersus) can detect dimethyl sulphide, a prey-related odour. J Exp Biol 211(pt 19):3123–3127PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Cushman S, Huettmann F (2010) Spatial complexity, informatics and wildlife conservation. Springer, TokyoGoogle Scholar
  25. Decker MB, Hunt GL, Byrd VG (1995) The relationships among sea-surface temperature, the abundance of juvenile pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), and the reproductive performance and diets of seabirds at the Pribilof Islands, southeastern Bering Sea. In: Beamish RJ (ed) Climate change and northern fish populations. Canadian Special Publication in Fisheries and Aquatic Science, vol 121, pp 425–437Google Scholar
  26. Denlinger L, Wohl K (2001) Seabird harvest regimes in the circumpolar nations. CAFF Technical Report No. 9Google Scholar
  27. Dietrich KS, Parrish JK, Melvin EF (2009) Understanding and addressing seabird bycatch in Alaska demersal longline fisheries. Biol Conserv 142:2642–2656CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Divoky G (1982) The occurrence and behavior of non-breeding Horned Puffins at Black Guillemot colonies in northern Alaska. Wilson Bull 94:356–358Google Scholar
  29. Ecology of marine birds selected as valued ecosystem components in the Northern Sea route area. INSROP Working paper No. 123 II.4.2Google Scholar
  30. Evans EE (1957) Irish folk ways. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  31. Fienberg SE, Martin ME, Straf ML (1985) Sharing research data. National Academy Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  32. Fraser W, Ainley D (1986) Ice edges and seabird occurrence in Antarctica. Bioscience 36(4):258–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Furness RW (1989) Declining seabird populations. J Zool 219(1):177–180CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Furness RW, Camphuysen K (1997) Seabirds as monitors of the marine environment. ICES J Mar Sci 54(4):726–737CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Gabric AJ, Qu B, Matrai P, Hirst AC (2005) The simulated response of dimethylsulfide production in the Arctic Ocean to global warming. Tellus B 57(5):391–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Garthe S, Benvenuti S, Montevecchi WA (2003) Temporal patterns of foraging activities of northern gannets, Morus bassanus, in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. Can J Zool 81:453–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Gaston AJ (2004) Seabirds: a natural history. Yale University Press, New HavenGoogle Scholar
  38. Gaston AJ, Elliot RE (1997) Predation by ravens Corvus corax on Brunnich’s guillemot Uria lomvia eggs and chicks and its possible impact on breeding site selection. Ibis 138:742–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Gaston AJ, Jones I (1998) The auks. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  40. Gavrilo M, Bakken V, Isaksen K (1998a) The distribution, population status and ecology of marine birds selected as valued ecosystem components in the Northern Sea Route Area. INSROP Working paper No 123 II.4.2Google Scholar
  41. Gavrilo M, Bakken V, Firsova L, Kaliakin V, Morozov V, Pokrovskaya I, Isaksen K (1998b) Oil vulnerability assessment for marine birds occurring along the Northern Sea route area. INSROP Working paper No. 97Google Scholar
  42. Gerdes B, Brinkmeyer R, Dieckmann G, Helmke E (2005) Influence of crude oil on changes of bacterial communities in Arctic sea-ice. FEMS Microbiol Ecol 53(1):129–139PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Gilchrist HG (1999) Declining thick-billed murre Uria lomvia colonies experience higher gull predation rates: an inter-colony comparison. Biol Conserv 87(1):21–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Gilchrist G, Strom H, Gavrilo M, Mosbech A (2008) International ivory gull conservation strategy and action plan. CAFF’s Circumpolar Seabird Group. CAFF technical report no. 18. SeptemberGoogle Scholar
  45. Gradinger R (1995) Climate change and biological oceanography of the Arctic Ocean. Philos Trans R Soc A Math Phys Eng Sci 352(1699):277–286CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Gradinger R, Bluhm B (2004) In-situ observations on the distribution and behavior of amphipods and Arctic cod (Boreogadus saida) under the sea ice of the High Arctic Canada Basin. Polar Biol 27(10):595–603CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hatch S (2010) Seabird databases and the new paradigm for scientific publication and attributions. Mar Ornithol 38:1–6Google Scholar
  48. Huettmann F (2008) Marine conservation and sustainability of the Sea of Okhotsk in the Russian Far East: an overview of cumulative impacts, compiled public data, and a proposal for a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In: Nijhoff M (ed) Ocean Yearbook 22. Halifax, Canada, pp 353–374Google Scholar
  49. Huettmann F (2011) Serving the global village through public data-sharing as a mandatory paradigm for seabird biologists and managers: why, what, how, and a call for an efficient action plan. Open Ornithol 4:1–11CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Huettmann F (2007) Constraints, suggested solutions and an outlook towards a new digital culture for the oceans and beyond: experiences from five predictive GIS models that contribute to global management, conservation and study of marine wildlife and habitat. In: Vanden Berghe E et al (eds) Proceedings of ‘Ocean Biodiversity Informatics’: an international conference on marine biodiversity data management, Hamburg, Germany, 29 November–1 December, 2004. IOC Workshop Report 202. VLIZ Special Publication 37, pp 49–61Google Scholar
  51. Huettmann F, Czech B (2006) Taking marine seabird conservation seriously: towards a steady state economy for the pacific and beyond. Pac Seabirds 33(2):52–54Google Scholar
  52. Huettmann F, Diamond AW (2001) Seabird colony locations and environmental determination of seabird distribution: a spatially explicit seabird breeding model in the Northwest Atlantic. Ecol Model 141:261–298CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Huettmann F, Hazlett S (2010) Changing the Arctic: adding immediate protection to the equation. In: Alaska park science. U.S. National Park Service, Fairbanks, pp 118–121Google Scholar
  54. Huettmann F, Artukhin Yu, Gilg O, Humphries G (2011) Predictions of 27 Arctic pelagic seabird distributions using public environmental variables, assessed with colony data: a first digital IPY and GBIF open access synthesis platform. Marine Biodiversity 41:141–179. DOI 10.1007/s12526-011-0083-2Google Scholar
  55. Hunt GLJ (1972) Influence of food distribution and human disturbance on the reproductive success of herring gulls. Ecology 53:1051–1061CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Johnsen KI, Alfthan B, Hislop L, Skaalvik JF (eds) (2010) Protecting Arctic biodiversity. United Nations Environment Programme, GRID-Arendal, ArendalGoogle Scholar
  57. Kato A, Naito Y, Watanuki Y, Shaughnessy PD (1996) Diving pattern and stomach temperatures of foraging king cormorants at Subantarctic Macquarie Island. Condor 98:844–848CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Krasnov YV, Barrett RT (1997) The first record of North Atlantic gannets Morus bassanus breeding in Russia. Seabird 19:54–57Google Scholar
  59. Krupnik I, Jolly D (2002) The earth is faster now: indigenous observations of Arctic environmental change. Arctic Research Consortium of the United States, FairbanksGoogle Scholar
  60. Lewis S, Benvenuti S, Daunt F, Wanless S et al (2004) Partitioning of diving effort in foraging trips of northern gannets. Can J Zool 82:1910–1916CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Loeng H, Brander K, Carmack E, Denisenko S, Drinkwater K, Hansen B et al (2005) Marine systems. In: Symon B, Arris C, Heal L (eds) Arctic climate impact assessment. Cambridge University Press, New York, pp 453–538Google Scholar
  62. Manabe S, Stouffer R (1995) Simulation of abrupt climate change induced by freshwater input to the North Atlantic Ocean. Nature (Lond) 378:165–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. McGuire D, Chapin FS, Walsh JE, Wirth C (2006) Integrated regional changes in arctic climate feedbacks: implications for the global climate system. Annu Rev Environ Resour 31(1):61–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Merkel FR (2004) Evidence of population decline in common eiders breeding in Western Greenland. Arctic 57(1):27–36Google Scholar
  65. Merkel F, Barry T (2008) Seabird harvest in the Arctic. CAFF Technical Report No. 16. Circumpolar Seabird Group (CBird), CAFF International Secretariat, AkureyriGoogle Scholar
  66. Nevitt GA (2003) Behavioral attraction of Leach’s storm-petrels (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) to dimethyl sulfide. J Exp Biol 206(9):1497–1501PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Norse EA, Crowder LB (2005) Marine conservation biology: the science of maintaining the sea’s biodiversity. Island Press, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  68. Ohse B, Huettmann F, Ickert-Bond S, Juday G (2009) Modeling the distribution of white spruce (Picea glauca) for Alaska with high accuracy: an open access role-model for predicting tree species in last remaining wilderness areas. Polar Biol 32:1717–1724CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Östlund HG, Hut G (1984) Arctic ocean water mass balance from isotope data. J Geophys Res 89 (C4):6373–6381CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Ott R (2005) Sound truth and corporate myths: the legacy of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Dragonfly Sisters Press, CordovaGoogle Scholar
  71. Owen BM, Argue DA, Furchtgott-Roth HW, Hurdle GJ, Mosteller G (1995) The economics of a disaster: the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Quorumbooks, WestportGoogle Scholar
  72. Paiva VH, Geraldes P, Ramírez I, Meirinho A, Garthe S, Ramos JA (2010) Foraging plasticity in a pelagic seabird species along a marine productivity gradient. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 398:259–274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Parsons M, Mitchell I, Butler A, Ratcliffe N, Frederiksen M, Foster S et al (2008) Seabirds as indicators of the marine environment. ICES J Mar Sci 65(8):1520–1526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Peterson BJ, Holmes RM, McClelland JW, Vörösmarty CJ, Lammers RB, Shiklomanov AI, Shiklomanov IA, Rahmstorf S (2002) Increasing river discharge to the Arctic Ocean. Science 298(5601):2171–2173PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Piatt JF, Anderson P (1996) Response of common murres to the Exxon Valdez oil spill and long-term changes in the Gulf of Alaska marine ecosystem. Am Fish Soc Symp 18:720–737Google Scholar
  76. Piatt JF, Ford RG (1996) How many seabirds were killed by the Exxon Valdez oil spill? Am Fish Soc Symp 18:2–5Google Scholar
  77. Piatt J, Sydeman W (2007) Seabirds as indicators of marine ecosystems. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 352:199–204CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Pons JM, Migot P (1995) Life-history strategy of the Herring Gull: changes in survival and fecundity in a population subjected to various feeding conditions. J Anim Ecol 64:592–599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Provencher JF, Gaston AJ, Mallory ML, O’Hara PD, Gilchrist HG (2010) Ingested plastic in a diving seabird, the thick-billed murre (Uria lomvia), in the eastern Canadian Arctic. Mar Pollut Bull 60(9):1406–1411PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Ryan P (1987) The effects of ingested plastic on seabirds: correlations between plastic load and body condition. Env Poll 46(2):119–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Raymond B, Woehler E (2003) Predicting seabirds at sea in the Southern Indian Ocean. Mar Ecol Prog Ser 263:275–285CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. Robards MD, Piatt JF, Wohl KD (1995) Increasing frequency of plastic particles ingested by seabirds in the subarctic North Pacific. Marine Pollution Bulletin 30(2):151–157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Schreiber EA, Burger J (2002) Biology of marine birds. CRC Press, Boca RatonGoogle Scholar
  84. Spaans AL (1971) On the feeding ecology of the herring gull Larus argentatus Pont. in the northern part of the Netherlands. Ardea 59:73–188Google Scholar
  85. Stiglitz JE (2008) Making globalisation work – The 2006 Geary lecture. Econ Soc Rev 39(3):171–190Google Scholar
  86. Trevena A, Jones G (2006) Dimethylsulphide and dimethylsulphoniopropionate in Antarctic sea ice and their release during sea ice melting. Mar Chem 98(2–4):210–222CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  87. UNESCO (2009) Climate change and arctic sustainable development: scientific, social, cultural and educational challenges. UNESCO, ParisCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Weir RD (1976) Annotated bibliography of bird kills at man-made obstacles: a review of the state of the art and solutions. Canadian Wildlife Services, Ontario Region, Ottawa, 86Google Scholar
  89. Weiser E, Powell AN (2010) Does garbage in the diet improve reproductive output of glaucous gulls? Condor 112:530–538CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  90. Wiese F (2003) The extent of chronic marine oil pollution in southeastern Newfoundland waters assessed through beached bird surveys 1984–1999. Mar Pollut Bull 46(9):1090–1101PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  91. Wiese FK, Robertson GJ (2004) Assessing seabird mortality from chronic oil discharges at sea. J Wildl Manag 68(3):627–638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. Wiese FK, Montevecchi WA, Davoren GK, Huettmann F, Diamond AW, Linke J (2001) Seabirds at risk around offshore oil platforms in the north-west Atlantic. Mar Pollut Bull 42(12):1285–1290PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  93. Wiese FK, Robertson GJ, Gaston AJ (2004) Impacts of chronic marine oil pollution and the murre hunt in Newfoundland on thick-billed murre Uria lomvia populations in the eastern Canadian Arctic. Biol Conserv 116(2):205–216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  94. Yuan L, Sun L, Long N, Xie Z, Wang Y, Liu X (2009) Seabirds colonized Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard, Arctic ∼9,400 years ago. Polar Biol 33(5):683–691CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  95. Zhang J (2005) Warming of the Arctic ice-ocean system is faster than the global average since the 1960s. Geophys Res Lett 32:L1960Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Sustainability: Agriculture, Food, Energy and Environment, University of OtagoDunedinNew Zealand
  2. 2.EWHALE lab- Biology and Wildlife DepartmentInstitute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska-FairbanksFairbanksUSA

Personalised recommendations