A new paper by FI scientists Bill Sydeman, Sarah Ann Thompson, and Marisol Garcia-Reyes, along with collaborators from USGS, NOAA, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, describes regional seabird indicators in the Bering Sea. The paper was published in the journal Ecological Indicators, and shows how kittiwakes and murres each relate to climate data when data from different seabird colony sites are combined into an index. We used data for breeding success and the timing of breeding for black-legged kittiwakes, red-legged kittiwakes, common murres, and thick-billed murres. We made an index for: murre breeding success, kittiwake breeding success, murre timing of breeding, and kittiwake timing of breeding. Environmental data included sea surface temperature, sea ice cover, sea level pressure, and two measures of wind speed. These data were also combined into an environmental indices.
Results showed that the seabird indices related to different environmental indices, suggesting that seabirds across the region area are similarly affected by large-scale environmental variability.