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FY2013-04 ‚ÄčSeabirds as Indicators of Climate Change FY13

This project is a continuation of project FY2013-02, and funded ship time for the second year of the USGS study exploring feasibility of using seabirds as indicators of forage fish assemblages.

The field portion of this project occurred from August 11-22, 2013, aboard the R/V Tiglax. Despite challenging weather conditions, the field team sampled diets of Tufted Puffins from seven colonies between Adak and Attu islands; none of these colonies had been sampled previously. The CPUE (catch per unit effort) from these colonies suggests that feeding conditions were less than ideal as compared to the colonies in the eastern Aleutians that were sampled in 2012. Puffin diet samples were characterized by fewer numbers of larger prey items, dominated by Atka mackerel. In addition to collecting information on puffin diets and chick weights, the study also added a stable isotope component in collaboration with Dr. Douglas Causey from the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Puffin sampling on Nizki Island
Sampling puffin diets on Nizki Island.

Landscape-scale stressor(s) addressed by this project: Climate Variability and Change, Commercial Fishing.

 

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