Abundance maps of marine birds and mammals in the North Sea | Emodnet Biology

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Abundance maps of marine birds and mammals in the North Sea

This product provides abundance maps of marine birds and mammals in the North Sea compiled by data from the ESAS database.

Data series

Data was provided by JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee): JNCC seabird distribution and abundance data (all trips) from ESAS database and downloaded from the OBIS-SEAMAP database. This product was developed with DIVA (Data-Interpolating Variational Analysis).

Data product

Case I: Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis)

Northern fulmars are one of the commonest seabirds in northern Britain and are present year-round, with no pronounced migration after becoming adult.. The environmental change which is most likely to have affected northern fulmars since the 1970s has come from a decline in the North Sea whitefish industry and a corresponding decline in the amount discharged from its fleets. Declines in the abundance of natural prey such as sandeels in the North Sea and of certain species of zooplankton in the North Atlantic, are also likely to have had a detrimental effect on the population. Climate change is likely to have contributed to these declines.

Other bird species that were analysed within this data product are Alca torda, Larus argentatus, Morus bassanus, Rissa tridactyla, Somateria mollissima, Stercorarius skua, Sterna sandvicensis,


Case II: Harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)

After many decades of near absence, the frequency of sightings of harbour porpoises  in the Southern North Sea has increased in recent years. The harbour porpoise is included as a key or indicator species in a number of legal instruments oriented towards an improved environmental status. It is therefore important for managers, policy- and decision-makers and professionals who work in the marine environment to rely on the best available scientific information about the distribution, biology and ecology of the harbour porpoise.


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