A 2015 study estimated a 69.5% decline in seabird populations in Central California between 1950 and 2010 owing to increased pollution and commercial fishing.
The current research by the Anna Studwell, San Francisco State geographer, studied recent 10 years of data on the distribution of six species of non-resident foraging seabirds.
These are birds that visit the sea area of Central California for foraging, but do not breed on the nearby islands.
For at least thrice a year for 10 years, the team counted the seabirds along particular routes. But this missed out sampling some parts of the sea.
Studwell’s study shows a way to use existing data to indentify these offshore areas, and then use predictive modeling.
This study is to help ocean zoning here. It could also prove life-saving for foraging seabirds in case of an oil spill.
"If we can figure out ways to keep funding this research to get these kinds of data and can continue modeling environmental relationships over time, we can look at some very important correlations between climate change and human use and how it affects these animals.” said Professor Hines, co-worker on the study.
Content Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170125214559.htm