These datasets were organized and developed as part of the project “Mapping the Distribution, Abundance and Risk Assessment of Marine Birds in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean” led by North Carolina State University (Beth Gardner, Earvin Balderama, and Brian Reich) from 2012 to 2015. The project also involved the NOAA National Ocean Service, the Biodiversity Research Institute, and CSI – City University of New York. It was sponsored by the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative.
Two types of datasets are available: results (predicted occurrence of marine birds) and modeling inputs (marine bird surveys and covariates). All datasets are plain text, in comma-separated values (CSV) format. The datasets include latitude and longitude, allowing them to be mapped in GIS. Selected results (median predicted annual occurrence of one individual, by species) can be viewed in the Coastal and Marine gallery of the North Atlantic LCC’s Conservation Planning Atlas.
Predictions of bird of occurrence of at least 1 individual of each species are provided both for the entire year and for each month. For 21 of the 24 species, probability of occurrence of large counts (“extreme occurrences”) are also provided for a year and by month. (Large count estimates were not developed for Common Eider, Long-tailed Duck, and Roseate Tern.) The available datasets are as follows:
occurrence - The predicted probability of observing at least one individual of the species within the grid cell (approx. 4x4 km) during the entire year.
monthly occurrence - The median predicted probability of observing at least one individual of the species within the grid cell (approx. 4x4 km) during a given month.
extreme occurrence - The predicted probability of observing a large count of the species within the grid cell (approx. 4x4 km) during the entire year.
monthly extreme occurrence - The median predicted probability of observing a large count of the species within the grid cell (approx. 4x4 km) during a given month.
Modeling Inputs (Marine Bird Surveys and Covariates)
The marine bird occurrence models were developed based on data from the Atlantic Seabird Compendium of continuous time strip surveys for the time period July 2002 to November 2010. Four biophysical covariates were used to predict seabird occurrence and abundance: sea surface temperature, ocean depth, chlorophyll-a concentration, and distance to shore.
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