Seabirds are an important and iconic component of our coasts, and are protected by regional, national and European laws. To protect them effectively requires solid knowledge about the size and distribution of their populations and the different factors and pressures that affect them.

MarPAMM contribution

In MarPAMM, we monitor the population sizes and distribution of key seabird species on the west coast of Scotland, around Northern Ireland and the east coast of Ireland. We contribute to efforts to survey breeding seabird colonies in the entire project area, survey Eider populations in winter in NI, monitor burrow-nesting species in Scotland, and track Black Guillemots during the breeding season in NI.

The new survey data will be combined with existing data to develop a seabird model that explores how populations would be impacted by changes in different pressures such as different fisheries management scenarios. This information will enable regulators to make appropriate decisions regarding how to conserve important seabird populations. This model will therefore feed into the MPA management plans developed by another project team (link to T5).

Project activities so far:

Cliff nesting bird monitoring in Scotland

Seabirds and climate change – latest reports

Seabirds in Northern Ireland

This work package is led by Marine Scotland Science with contributions from BirdWatch Ireland, University College Cork and Scottish Natural Heritage.