Sooty tern (<i>Onychoprion fuscatus</i>) survival, oil spills, shrimp fisheries, and hurricanes.

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2017-01

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Abstract

Migratory seabirds face threats from climate change and a variety of anthropogenic disturbances. Although most seabird research has focused on the ecology of individuals at the colony, technological advances now allow researchers to track seabird movements at sea and during migration. We combined telemetry data on Onychoprion fuscatus (sooty terns) with a long-term capture-mark-recapture dataset from the Dry Tortugas National Park to map the movements at sea for this species, calculate estimates of mortality, and investigate the impact of hurricanes on a migratory seabird. Included in the latter analysis is information on the locations of recovered bands from deceased individuals wrecked by tropical storms. We present the first known map of sooty tern migration in the Atlantic Ocean. Our results indicate that the birds had minor overlaps with areas affected by the major 2010 oil spill and a major shrimp fishery. Indices of hurricane strength and occurrence are positively correlated with annual mortality and indices of numbers of wrecked birds. As climate change may lead to an increase in severity and frequency of major hurricanes, this may pose a long-term problem for this colony.

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10.7717/peerj.3287

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Huang, Ryan M, Oron L Bass and Stuart L Pimm (2017). Sooty tern (Onychoprion fuscatus) survival, oil spills, shrimp fisheries, and hurricanes. PeerJ, 5(5). p. e3287. 10.7717/peerj.3287 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/23539.

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Pimm

Stuart L. Pimm

Doris Duke Distinguished Professor of Conservation Ecology in the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences

Stuart Pimm is a world leader in the study of present-day extinctions and what can be done to prevent them. His research covers the reasons why species become extinct, how fast they do so, the global patterns of habitat loss and species extinction and, importantly, the management consequences of this research. Pimm received his BSc degree from Oxford University in 1971 and his Ph.D. from New Mexico State University in 1974. Pimm is the author of over 350 scientific papers and five books. He is one of the most highly cited environmental scientists. Pimm wrote the highly acclaimed assessment of the human impact to the planet: The World According to Pimm: a Scientist Audits the Earth in 2001. His commitment to the interface between science and policy has led to his testimony to both House and Senate Committees on the re-authorization of the Endangered Species Act. He was worked and taught in Africa for nearly 30 years on elephants, most recently lions — through National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative — but always on topics that relate to the conservation of wildlife and the ecosystems on which they depend. Other research areas include the Everglades of Florida and tropical forests in South America, especially the Atlantic Coast forest of Brazil and the northern Andes — two of the world's "hotspots" for threatened species. His international honours include the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement (2010), the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006), the Society for Conservation Biology’s Edward T. LaRoe III Memorial Award (2006), and the Marsh Award for Conservation Biology, from the Marsh Christian Trust (awarded by the Zoological Society of London in 2004). Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, awarded him the William Proctor Prize for Scientific Achievement in 2007. In 2019, he won the International Cosmos Prize, which recognised his founding and directing Saving Nature, www.savingnature.org, a non-profit that uses donations for carbon emissions offsets to fund local conservation groups in areas of exceptional tropical biodiversity to restore their degraded lands. 


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