8 Sep 2010

World Seabird Colony Register Workshop

By Nick Askew

A wide range of databases already exist that contain information on seabird breeding colonies; however these have generally been established for specific regions, countries or projects, and have therefore evolved in isolation from each other.

This has meant that there is often a lack of commonality between them that would allow for information exchange, comparisons, and/or global analysis to be made.

The establishment of a world seabird colony database will help us gain a better understanding of how seabird populations fluctuate over time and space, allow for additional analysis related to existing and emerging threats (e.g. climate change), assist prioritisation exercises at regional and global scales (e.g. those sites most in need of alien eradication) and help identify future management priorities.

The aim of this workshop will be to establish and maintain a protocol for a world seabird colony database. To achieve this, the workshop will begin with a selection of introductory talks. These will look at a number of existing databases to gain a clearer understanding of what is required when establishing a database, and identify what some of the benefits of linking to a WSCR might be.

These talks will also highlight where commonalities and differences lie. An open floor discussion will look to answer some key questions relating to the establishment of a WSCR and the session will conclude by summarizing the discussions and proposing how to take forward the creation of a WSCR.

Workshop abtract by Ben Lascelles, David Irons, Scott Hatch, Susan Waugh. Image credit: ©BenLascelles