Marine Bird and Mammal Observations for Sound Predictions
Marine Bird and Mammal Observations for Sound PredictionsMary Anne Bishop, Prince William Sound Science Center
Scope of Work:
In July 2009, the Alaska Ocean Observing System and the Prince William Sound Oil Spill Recovery Institute are sponsoring a field experiment in Prince William Sound (PWS) to evaluate regional forecast models for wind, waves, and ocean circulation. A variety of tools will be used to evaluate the models including automated gliders, drifters, and oceanographic moorings. As part of the experiment, Lagrangian drifters will be used to mimic oil spill trajectories.
Seabirds, the most numerous group of birds inhabiting PWS, depend on oceanographic processes such as upwellings, stratification, fronts, gyres, and tidal currents to concentrate their prey resources (see review in Hunt et al. 1999). Here we propose to monitor seabirds and marine mammals during the field experiment to determine their abundance and distribution in relation to oceanographic processes. Both seabirds and marine mammals are vulnerable to oil spills. Data on their distribution and abundance will be critical for assessing potential interactions with oil spill trajectories.
Specifically our objectives are:
- Determine temporal and spatial distribution of seabirds and marine mammals within the experiment area.
- Estimate their abundance within the experiment area.