Marine bird density and distribution on Canada's Pacific coast, 2005-2008
Caroline Fox, Dalhousie University and Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Dataset credit

Caroline Fox, Dalhousie University and Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Contacts

RoleNameOrganization 
Primary contact Caroline Fox Dalhousie University
Data entry Ei Fujioka Duke University

Citation

Abstract

Associated publication abstract: Increasingly disrupted and altered, the world’s oceans are subject to immense and intensifying anthropogenic pressures. Of the biota inhabiting these ecosystems, marine birds are among the most threatened. For conservation efforts targeting marine birds to be effective, quantitative information relating to their at-sea density and distribution is typically a crucial knowledge component. In this study, we generated predictive machine learning ensemble models for 13 marine bird species and 7 groups (representing 24 additional species) in Canada’s Pacific coast waters, including several species listed under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. Predictive models were based on systematic marine bird line transect survey information collected in spring, summer, and fall on Canada’s Pacific coast (2005−2008). Multiple Covariate Distance Sampling (MCDS) was used to estimate marine bird density along transect segments. Spatial and temporal environmental predictors, including remote sensing information, were used in model ensembles, which were constructed using 4 machine learning algorithms in Salford Systems Predictive Modeler v7.0 (SPM7): Random Forests, TreeNet, Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines, and Classification and Regression Trees. Predictive models were subsequently combined to generate seasonal and overall predictions of areas important to marine birds based on normalized marine bird species or group richness and densities. Our results employ open access data sharing and are intended to better inform marine bird conservation efforts and management planning on Canada’s Pacific coast and for broader-scale geographic initiatives across North America and elsewhere.

Purpose

N/A

Supplemental information

Marine bird line-transect survey information collected using Distance Sampling in coastal British Columbia, Canada (2005-2008) is provided in three forms: (1) raw, unadjusted marine bird sightings; (2) for a subset of species, marine bird density estimates along 1km transect segments using Multiple Covariates Distance Sampling (MCDS), and; (3) for a subset of species, surface density estimates per ~14km2 hexagon using machine learning ensemble modeling. For data products 2 and 3, the marine bird subsets were restricted to species sighted in sufficient numbers for analysis. Surveys were completed by Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

1. Raw data: raw, unadjusted sighting of marine bird species on water and in flight. Attributes such as column labels are included in the attributes definition section.

Note that several species alpha codes are non-standard, due to grouping of species identifications (e.g., large gulls and dark shearwaters).

ANMU = Ancient Murrelet
ANMUf = Ancient Murrelet family (varying #s of parents and chicks, or just chicks)
BAEA = Bald Eagle
BEKI = Belted Kingfisher
BFAL = Black-footed Albatross
BLKI = Black-legged Kittiwake
BLOY = Black Oystercatcher
BLSC = Black Scoter
BLTU = Black Turnstone
BOGU = Bonaparte's Gull
BRAC = Brandt's Cormorant
BRAN = Brant Goose
BUFF = Bufflehead Duck
BULS = Buller's Shearwater
CAAU = Cassin's Auklet
CAGU = California Gull
CANG = Canada Goose
COLO = Common Loon
COME = Common Merganser
COMU = Common Murre
COMUf = Common Murre family (parent with chick, or just chicks)
CORA = Common Raven
DARK = Sooty Shearwater, Short-tailed Shearwater, Flesh-footed Shearwater
DCCO = Double-crested Cormorant
DEJU = Dark-eyed Junco
DUNL = Dunlin
FTSP = Fork-tailed Storm Petrel
GBHE = Great Blue Heron
GWGU = Glaucous-winged Gull
HADU = Harlequin Duck
HETHGU = Herring Gull/Thayer's Gull
HOGR = Horned Grebe
HOPU = Horned Puffin
LAAL = Laysan Albatross
LEFTSP = mixed flock Fork-tailed and Leach's Storm-petrels
LESP = Leach's Storm Petrel
LTDU = Longtail Duck
LTJA = Long-tailed Jaeger
MALL = Mallard Duck
MAMU = Marbled Murrelet
MEGU = Mew Gull
NOCR = Northwestern Crow
NOFU = Northern Fulmar
NSHO = Northern Shoveler
OSPR = Osprey
PAJA = Parasitic Jaeger
PALO = Pacific Loon
PECO = Pelagic Cormorant
PFSH = Pink-footed Shearwater
PIGU = Pigeon Guillemot
POJA = Pomarine Jaeger
RBME = Red-breasted Merganser
RHAU = Rhinoceros Auklet
RNGR = Red-necked Grebe
RNPH = Red-necked Phalarope
RTLO = Red-throated Loon
RUHU = Rufous Hummingbird
SAGU = Sabine's Gull
SNGO = Snow Goose
STAL = Short-tailed Albatross
SUSC = Surf Scoter
THGU = Thayer's Gull
TOWA = Townsend's Warbler
TRES = Tree Swallow
TUPU = Tufted Puffin
TUPUf = Tufted Puffin family (parent with chick)
WEGR = Western Grebe
WEGU = Western Gull
WHIM = Whimbrel
WWSC = White-winged Scoter
YBLO = Yellow-billed Loon

UNAL = Unidentified Alcid
UNCO = Unidentified cormorant
UNDU = Unidentified ducks in the distance
UNGE = Unidentified Geese in the distance
UNGO = Unidentified Goldeneye
UNGR = Unidentified Grebe
ULGU = Unidentified Larus Gull
UNJA = Unidentified Jaeger
UNLO = Unidentified Loon
UNSO = Unidentified Scoter
UNSW = Unidentified Shearwater
UNSH = Unidentified Shorebirds
UNST = Unidentified Storm-petrel
UNTE = Unidentified Tern
UNTU = Unidentified Turnstone

2. Marine bird density estimates along 1km transect segments using Multiple Covariates Distance Sampling (MCDS).

Note that several species alpha codes are non-standard, due to grouping of species identifications (e.g., large gulls and dark shearwaters).

ANMU = Ancient Murrelet
BFAL = Black-footed Albatross
CAAU = Cassin's Auklet
COMU = Common Murre
CORM = Cormorants (Brandt's, Double-crested, Pelagic)
DARK = Dark shearwaters (Flesh-footed, Short-tailed, Sooty)
FTSP = Fork-tailed Storm-petrel
GREB = Grebes (Horned, Red-necked, Western)
LESP = Leach's Storm-petrel
lgGULL = large Larus spp. gulls (California, Glaucous-winged, American, Thayer's)
LOON = Loons (Yellow-billed, Common, Red-throated, Pacific)
MAMU = Marbled Murrelet
NOFU = Northern Fulmar
PFSH = Pink-footed Shearwater
PIGU = Pigeon Guillemot
RHAU = Rhinoceros Auklet
RNPH = Red=necked Phalarope
SCOT = Scoters (Black, White-winged, Surf)
smGULL = small gulls (Black-legged Kittiwake, Bonaparte's, Mew, Sabine's)
TUPU = Tufted Puffin

Field names represent, using ANMU and BFAL as the examples:

- first few fields represent summary fields (i.e., FID, Shape)
- SEGID = unique line transect segment ID. Can use this field to join across species files.
- VOYAGE = On planned transect (T) or on passage (P), which are unplanned transects.
- SPEED = vessel speed (knts).
- MO = Month, numeric (1-12).
- SegLength = Segment length. Most should = 1 km, but shorter segments have been retained.
- Season = Spring (april, may, june), Summer (August), Fall (October, November).
- Point_X and Point_Y = x and y coordinates using BC Albers.
- Effort = Same as SegLength.
- DATE = year-month-day.
- YEAR = year.
- DAY_YR = Day of the year, beginning with with January 1 = 1.
- AREA = Segment length (km) X perpendicular distance (km) from boat for that particular species (unit = km2; identified using MCDS Distance Analysis).
- ANMUw_D (all other examples BIRDw_D) = estimated density of Ancient Murrelets along the transect segment (including family groups, see below). Lowercase "w" = birds on water.
- ANMUf_D = exception for ANMU family groups. Lowercase "f" = family groups on water (parent(s) with flightless chicks or flightless chicks alone).
- BFALs_D (all other examples BIRDs_D) = estimated density of Black-footed ALbatrosses along the transect segment. Lowercase "s" = birds in flight. Note that flying bird density estimates should be used and interpreted with caution.

3. Density estimations per hexagon (approx. 14km2):

Shape file name represents the bird species (e.g., ANMU = Ancient Murrelet) plus "w" (w = density estimates of birds on water only) or "sw" (sw = density estimates of combination of birds in flight and on water).

Note that several species alpha codes are non-standard, due to grouping of species identifications (e.g., large gulls and dark shearwaters).

ANMU = Ancient Murrelet
BFAL = Black-footed Albatross
CAAU = Cassin's Auklet
COMU = Common Murre
CORM = Cormorants (Brandt's, Double-crested, Pelagic)
DARK = Dark shearwaters (Flesh-footed, Short-tailed, Sooty)
FTSP = Fork-tailed Storm-petrel
GREB = Grebes (Horned, Red-necked, Western)
LESP = Leach's Storm-petrel
lgGULL = large Larus spp. gulls (California, Glaucous-winged, American, Thayer's)
LOON = Loons (Yellow-billed, Common, Red-throated, Pacific)
MAMU = Marbled Murrelet
NOFU = Northern Fulmar
PFSH = Pink-footed Shearwater
PIGU = Pigeon Guillemot
RHAU = Rhinoceros Auklet
RNPH = Red=necked Phalarope
SCOT = Scoters (Black, White-winged, Surf)
smGULL = small gulls (Black-legged Kittiwake, Bonaparte's, Mew, Sabine's)
TUPU = Tufted Puffin

Field names represent, using ANMUw as the example:

- first few ields represent summary fields (i.e., FID, Shape and Id)
- HexagonID = unique hexagon cell ID. Can use this field to join across species files.
- X_coord and Y_Coord = should be self explanatory.
- spr_ANMUw = estimated Ancient Murrelet on water density estimates (birds/km2) in spring (April 2007, May 2007, June 2008)
- sum_ANMUw = same as above, except in summer (August 2005, 2006 and 2008)
- fal_ANMUw = same as above, except in fall (October and November 2007)
- ANMUw_AnAv = average across spring, summer, and fall density estimates

References

Attributes

Overview

Attributes described below represent those in the original dataset provided by the provider.
Only minimum required attributes are visible and downlodable online. Other attributes may be obtained upon provider's permission unless otherwise noted below.

This section explains attributes included in the original dataset. OBIS-SEAMAP restricts the attributes available to the public to date/time, lat/lon and species names/counts only. Should you need other attributes described here, you are encouraged to contact the data provider.

Attributes in dataset provided

Attribute (table column)Description
oidUnique ID number (generated by OBIS-SEAMAP)
fidInternal Field ID
obs_timeTime of the sighting (local time)
obs_dateDate of the sighting
gmttimeGMT time (hour:min:sec)
gmtdateGMT date (year-month-day)
yearYear
sighting_ncode for sighting number
sp_obsSpecies name recorded
sp_tsnTaxonomic Serial Number added by OBIS-SEAMAP
distanceestimated distance (m) at which bird group was sighted from boat
angleestimated angle (degrees) at which bird group was sighted
side"S" or "P" = Starboard or Port, respectively
obs_countgroup size or number of individuals in the group
cue"S" or "W" = in flight or on water, respectively
voyageOn planned transect (T) or on passage (P), which are unplanned transects
seastatecode for observed seastate (values = 0 - 5)
sightabiliSightability (values = 1 - 5)
swellswell height (values = 0 - 8)
weatherweather conditions (FA = fair, S = sunny, R = rain etc.)
cloudcoverpercentage cloudcover
segidunique line transect segment ID
speedvessel speed (knts)
observerInitials of bird observer
longitudeLongitude in decimal degrees
latitudeLatitude in decimal degrees
perpdistPerpendicular distance (m) of bird group sighted
day_yrday of the year, with January 1 = 1
moMonth, numeric (1-12)
geomGeometry field added by OBIS-SEAMAP
OBIS-SEAMAP ID1458
Seabirds11,334
Marine mammals0
Sea turtles0
Rays and sharks0
Other species1,657
Non spatial0
Non species0
Total12,991
Date, Begin2005-08-05
Date, End2008-08-29
Temporal prec.111110
Latitude50.56 - 54.71
Longitude-133.07 - -126.78
Coord. prec.6 decimal digits
PlatformBoat
Data typeAnimal sighting
EffortN/A
Registered2016-12-27
Updated2017-02-27
StatusPublished
Sharing policy CC-BY-NC (All)
Also availalbe from iOBIS
GBIF
See metadata in static HTML
See metadata in FGDC XML
See download history / statistics
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