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Atlas of Breeding Seabirds of the Main Hawaiian Islands


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The U.S. Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center (USGS-WERC), with support from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), is working with many partners to generate an Atlas of Breeding Seabirds of the Main Hawaiian Islands. This atlas will provide benchmarks to measure future changes in seabird population sizes and breeding distribution throughout Hawai‘i and will also assist efforts to evaluate threats to Hawaiian seabirds both on land and at sea. Ultimately, species- and colony-specific data for main Hawaiian Island seabirds on land and at sea will inform evaluations of potential risk and options for mitigation strategies for effects of offshore energy infrastructure on seabirds. This ScienceBase page provides background [...]

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Hawaiian seabirds spend most of their lives at sea where they forage, rest, and commute. When on land, many Hawaiian seabirds are concentrated at colonies located throughout the main islands, where they face threats from invasive species, introduced predators, and human disturbance. While at sea, Hawaiian seabirds could be affected by offshore wind energy development in the future. Under its clean energy initiative, the state of Hawaiʻi is striving for 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. The ocean surrounding Hawaiʻi is characterized by sustained trade winds that have generated interest for developing potential offshore wind energy infrastructure. USGS-WERC research on the distributions and abundances of native Hawaiian seabirds is generating data to inform species management and marine planning in the region.

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