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Information needs and priorities for assessing the sensitivity of marine birds to oil spills
Wiens, J.A.; Ford, R.G.; Heinemann, D. (1984). Information needs and priorities for assessing the sensitivity of marine birds to oil spills. Biol. Conserv. 28: 21-49
In: Biological Conservation. Elsevier: Barking. ISSN 0006-3207, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 

Keywords
    Marine pollution; Mathematical models; Oil spills; Pollution effects; Population dynamics; Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Wiens, J.A.
  • Ford, R.G.
  • Heinemann, D.

Abstract
    Experience in developing models to predict the potential impacts of oil spills on colonially breeding marine birds has revealed some major gaps in the information available on these systems. The authors consider the availability of data for a variety of parameters of seabird biology that are required in modelling efforts, and assign provisional priorities to information needs. In order to develop means of predicting the impacts of oil spills on seabirds, they suggest that colony- or site-specific information on the timing of reproduction and colony occupancy, chick growth rates and body weights, several metabolic parameters, flight speed, and food load size is of relatively low overall priority. They suggest that studies of seabird biology should give highest priority to obtaining information on population sizes, the probability of adult death upon encountering a spill, age-specific fecundity and survivorship, the time required in foraging trips, the lag time in the response of birds to an oil spill, foraging rate as a function of resource density, and changes in the availability of resources to the birds as a consequence of oil spills.

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