CCPDD: California Current Predator Diet Database for Seabirds, Marine Mammals & Large Fishes

What is the CCPDD?

A warehouse of diet data for marine predators that eat forage species off the west coast of North America. The CCPDD compiles information about occurrence of forage species in the diets of over 100 species of marine predators from 190 scientific citations, including data from different time periods and regions of the California Current System.

Why compile data on marine predator diet?

1)  Forage fish conservation: Our analyses have characterized the most important forage species for upper–trophic level marine predators. To improve management of forage species that are also fished by humans we need to quantify and account for natural mortality of forage species due to consumption by predators.

Outcome: New Federal protection adopted for unmanaged forage species based on their occurrence in predator diets.  [Seattle Times article, April 2016]

2)  Characterizing complex systems: In systems with complex food webs, up to 57 predators can share a single species of prey like the Northern anchovy. Yet, research on forage species in predator diets is typically conducted for individual predator species only, so these data must be compiled and synthesized in order to characterize the collective predation by marine predators on a single prey resource.

Outcome: Initiated a review of the outdated Northern anchovy management plan.  [Santa Cruz Sentinel article, November 2015]

What data are included?

The raw data for the analysis of forage taxa in predator diet are freely available from the Dryad Digital Repository. Each record includes information on the citation, study location, study date, observation type (e.g., stomach content, visual observation), predator (taxonomy, life-history stage, sample size), and prey (taxonomy, life-history stage, amount consumed (e.g., percent mass, number, or frequency of occurrence; or nonproportional data)). Location information was extracted from written descriptions and maps in the original text. Additional information housed in the database but not provided in the data repository will be reported in future publications and includes: study time of day, study depth, predator size/age/sex, prey size/age/sex, and values for the amount of prey consumed.

More information about the CCPDD:

Szoboszlai AI, Thayer JA, Wood SA, Sydeman WJ, Koehn LE. (2015). Forage species in predator diets: Synthesis of data from the California Current. Ecological Informatics, 29:45-56. [pdf]