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Distribution maps and minimum abundance estimates for wintering auks in the Bay of Biscay, based on aerial surveys

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 October 2004

Vincent Bretagnolle
Affiliation:
Centre d'Études Biologiques de Chizé, CNRS, 79360 Beauvoir sur Niort, France
Grégoire Certain
Affiliation:
Centre d'Études Biologiques de Chizé, CNRS, 79360 Beauvoir sur Niort, France LBEM, Université de La Rochelle, 23 avenue Albert Einstein, 17071 La Rochelle Cedex 9, France
Sylvie Houte
Affiliation:
Centre d'Études Biologiques de Chizé, CNRS, 79360 Beauvoir sur Niort, France
Michel Métais
Affiliation:
Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux, La Corderie Royale, 17305 Rochefort, France
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Abstract

The “Erika” oil spill has killed more seabirds than any before in Europe: nearly 70 000 guillemots (Uria aalge) were found dead or alive on beaches, and many more are thought to have been killed. This unexpectedly high number highlighted how poor our knowledge was on spatial and temporal patterns in seabird distribution in the Bay of Biscay. The purpose of our research project, “ERIKA-Avion”, was to fill this gap, providing the first distribution maps and abundance estimates of seabirds wintering in the entire shelf of the Bay of Biscay. In particular, we analysed fine-grained distribution maps for the wintering auks, comparing their areas of highest density with the oil drift area, and proposing for the first time (although preliminarily) minimal abundance estimates for these birds in this area.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© EDP Sciences, IFREMER, IRD, 2004

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Distribution maps and minimum abundance estimates for wintering auks in the Bay of Biscay, based on aerial surveys
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