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Tracking Seabirds for Conservation and Marine Spatial Planning

Seabird Biodiversity and Human Activities 


In the past three decades scientists have been equipping free-living seabirds with bio-logging devices to provide information about their behaviour in unprecedented detail. However, more recently the miniaturisation of tracking devices, have enabled scientists to understand the precise distribution patterns of seabirds across a variety of scales and species. As tags have become smaller and cheaper, seabird tracking studies and the number of individuals have increased exponentially. This has allowed scientists to identify the major sources of anthropogenic stressors affecting seabirds in the marine environment and for resolving marine conservation issues. The increasing volume and complexity of tracking data has led scientists to develop effective tools for data mining and spatial analysis with further benefits for seabird conservation. However, they often require high levels of expertise and considerable computation capacities which turn their use by policy makers and managers challenging. In this chapter we overview the recent advances in tracking devices currently used to study seabird distribution and discuss the challenges and how they can be important for resolving marine conservation issues.

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Contact person: 

Jorge M. Pereira 

Vitor H. Paiva 

Lucas Krüger 

Stephen C. Votier 



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