Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Regional breeding bird assessment of the Antarctic Peninsula

Abstract

Conservation of seabirds in remote polar regions requires accurate information on the location of breeding sites, which is often limited by logistical constraints of surveying large areas. On the Antarctic Peninsula, many seabird colonies are visited briefly but regularly by commercial cruise vessels, a platform from which we were able to collect presence/absence data on the entire community of seabirds. We used a multistate occupancy model, accounting for limited detection during surveys, to estimate the probability of presence and breeding of all 16 species native to the area. Our results provide a much clearer view than that was previously available of how avian diversity is distributed across the region’s network of multi-species colonies and reveals species-specific differences in the effect of sea-ice concentration and site fidelity on breeding probability. Several breeding sites host an unusually large number of breeding species, but these known richness hotspots are scattered throughout the region and we were unable to identify any clear gradients in species richness that might explain why some sites are so species rich. While accounting for detection failure accelerates the pace of reliable inference on species occupancy, we find that as many as ten years of repeated visits are often required to fully catalog the seabird richness at bare rock sites along the Antarctic Peninsula. This work highlights the challenges of identifying high priority sites for special protection or management and the importance for continued surveys, even at nominally well-studied locations.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5

References

  1. Bailey LL, MacKenzie DI, Nichols JD (2014) Advances and applications of occupancy models. Methods Ecol Evol 5:1269–1279. https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210x.12100

  2. Bender NA, Crosbie K, Lynch HJ (2016) Patterns of tourism in the Antarctic Peninsula region: a 20-year analysis. Antarct Sci 28:194–203. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954102016000031

  3. BirdLife International and Handbook of the Birds of the World. 2013. Daption capense. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2019-1. https://www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 17 July 2019.

  4. BirdLife International and Handbook of the Birds of the World. 2016. Chionis albus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2019-1. https://www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded on 17 July 2019.

  5. Cavalieri D, Parkinson C, Gloersen P, Zwally H (1996) Sea ice concentrations from Nimbus-7 SMMR and DMSP SSM/I-SSMIS passive microwave data, years 1990–2011. NASA DAAC at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder [Updated yearly]

  6. Cavalieri DJ, Germain KS, Swift CT (1995) Reduction of weather effects in the calculation of sea-ice concentration with the DMSP SSM/I. J Glaciol 41:455–464

  7. Chao A (1987) Estimating the population size for capture–recapture data with unequal catchability. Biometrics 43:783–791. https://doi.org/10.2307/2531532

  8. Coetzee BWT, Convey P, Chown SL (2017) Expanding the protected area network in Antarctica is urgent and readily achievable. Conserv Lett 10:670–680. https://doi.org/10.1111/conl.12342

  9. Convey P, Morton A, Poncet J (1999) Survey of marine birds and mammals of the South Sandwich Islands. Polar Rec 35:107–124. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0032247400026450

  10. Coria NR, Montalti D, Rombola E, Santos MM, Garcia Betoño MI, Juares MA (2011) Birds at Laurie Island, South Orkney Islands, Antarctica: breeding species and their distribution. Mar Ornithol 39:207–213

  11. Croxall JP (1984) Seabirds. In: Laws RM (ed) Antarctic ecology, vol 2. Academic Press, London, pp 533–618

  12. Dias MP et al (2018) Identification of marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas for penguins around the South Shetland Islands and South Orkney Islands. Ecol Evol 8:10520–10529. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4519

  13. Donald PF et al (2019) Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs): the development and characteristics of a global inventory of key sites for biodiversity. Bird Conserv Int 29:177–198. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0959270918000102

  14. Dorazio RM, Royle JA (2005) Estimating size and composition of biological communities by modeling the occurrence of species. J Am Stat Assoc 100:389–398

  15. Gelman A, Carlin JB, Stern HS, Dunson DB, Vehtari A, Rubin DB (2013) Bayesian data analysis, 3rd edn. Chapman and Hall-CRC, Boca Raton, FL

  16. Gotelli NJ, Colwell RK (2011) Estimating species richness. In: Magurran AE, McGill BJ (eds) Biological diversity: frontiers in measurement and assessment. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 39–54

  17. Harris C, Carr R, Lorenz K, Jones S (2011) Important Bird Areas in Antarctica: Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, South Orkney Islands–final report. Prepared for BirdLife International and the Polar Regions Unit of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Environmental Research & Assessment Ltd., Cambridge

  18. Harris CM (2005) Aircraft operations near concentrations of birds in Antarctica: the development of practical guidelines. Biol Conserv 125:309–322

  19. Humphries GRW, Naveen R, Schwaller M, Che-Castaldo C, McDowall P, Schrimpf M, Lynch HJ (2017) Mapping Application for Penguin Populations and Projected Dynamics (MAPPPD): data and tools for dynamic management and decision support. Polar Rec 53:160–166. https://doi.org/10.1017/s0032247417000055

  20. Kennicutt MC et al (2015) A roadmap for Antarctic and Southern Ocean science for the next two decades and beyond. Antarct Sci 27:3–18. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954102014000674

  21. Kéry M, Schaub M (2012) Bayesian population analysis using WinBUGS: a hierarchical perspective. Academic Press, Waltham, MA

  22. Knox GA (2006) Biology of the Southern Ocean. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL

  23. Lee JR, Raymond B, Bracegirdle TJ, Chadès I, Fuller RA, Shaw JD, Terauds A (2017) Climate change drives expansion of Antarctic ice-free habitat. Nature 547:49–54. https://doi.org/10.1038/nature22996

  24. Lunn D, Jackson C, Best N, Thomas A, Spiegelhalter D (2012) The BUGS book: a practical introduction to bayesian analysis. Chapman & Hall/CRC Press, New York

  25. Lynch HJ, Naveen R, Casanovas P (2013) Antarctic Site Inventory breeding bird survey data, 1994–2013. Ecology 94:2653–2653. https://doi.org/10.1890/13-1108.1

  26. Lynch HJ, Naveen R, Trathan PN, Fagan WF (2012a) Spatially integrated assessment reveals widespread changes in penguin populations on the Antarctic Peninsula. Ecology 93:1367–1377

  27. Lynch HJ, White R, Black AD, Naveen R (2012b) Detection, differentiation, and abundance estimation of penguin species by high-resolution satellite imagery. Polar Biol 35:963–968. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-011-1138-3

  28. MacKenzie DI, Nichols JD, Seamans ME, Gutiérrez RJ (2009) Modeling species occurrence dynamics with multiple states and imperfect detection. Ecology 90:823–835. https://doi.org/10.1890/08-0141.1

  29. Mittelbach GG (2012) Community ecology. Sinauer Associates Inc, Sunderland, MA

  30. Naveen R (2003) Compendium of Antarctic Peninsula visitor sites, 2nd edn. A report to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Oceanites Inc, Washington

  31. Naveen R, Lynch HJ (2011) Antarctic Peninsula compendium, 3rd edn. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington

  32. Oksanen J, Blanchet FG, Friendly M, Kindt R, Legendre P, McGlinn D, Minchin PR, O'Hara RB, Simpson GL, Solymos P, Stevens MHH, Szoecs E, Wagner H (2019) vegan: Community Ecology Package. R package version 2.5-6. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=vegan

  33. Plummer M (2015) JAGS: A program for analysis of Bayesian graphical models using Gibbs sampling, 4.0.0 edn. https://mcmc-jags.sourceforge.net

  34. R Development Core Team (2017) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing. www.R-project.org/

  35. Schrimpf M, Naveen R, Lynch HJ (2018) Population status of the Antarctic shag Phalacrocorax (atriceps) bransfieldensis. Antarct Sci 30:151–159. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0954102017000530

  36. Shirihai H, Jarrett B, Cox J (2007) Complete guide to Antarctic wildlife, 2nd edn. A&C Black Publishers Ltd, London

  37. Su Y-S, Yajima M (2015) R2jags: Using R to Run 'JAGS'. https://CRAN.R-project.org/package=R2jags

  38. Trathan PN, Warwick-Evans V, Hinke JT, Young EF, Murphy EJ, Carneiro APB, Dias MP, Kovacs KM, Lowther AD, Godø OR, Kokubun N, Kim JH, Takahashi A, Santos M (2018) Managing fishery development in sensitive ecosystems: identifying penguin habitat use to direct management in Antarctica. Ecosphere 9:e02392. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2392

  39. Wauchope HS, Shaw JD, Terauds A (2019) A snapshot of biodiversity protection in Antarctica. Nat Commun 10:6. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-08915-6

  40. Willig MR, Kaufman DM, Stevens RD (2003) Latitudinal gradients of biodiversity: pattern, process, scale, and synthesis. Annu Rev Ecol Evol Syst 34:273–309. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.ecolsys.34.012103.144032

  41. Woehler E (1993) The distribution and abundance of Antarctic and Subantarctic penguins. Cambridge, United Kingdom, Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR)

Download references

Acknowledgements

We thank R. Naveen and all of the Antarctic Site Inventory field staff for data collection. B. Şen, L. Prowant, C. Foley, M. Lynch, and C. Youngflesh were helpful in interpretation of the results, and C. Graham, D. Futuyma, and R. Veit provided feedback on early versions of the manuscript. We also appreciate the very helpful comments by the anonymous reviewers.

Funding

Financial support was provided by the National Science Foundation/Office of Polar Programs, award no. 1255058, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, award no. NNX14AC32G. Additional logistical support was provided by a number of member organizations of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators, chiefly One Ocean Expeditions.

Author information

MBS and HJL conceived the project; MBS analyzed most of the model results with guidance from CCC and HJL; all authors contributed to the design of the occupancy model and to the written manuscript.

Correspondence to Michael B. Schrimpf.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Fieldwork was permitted through the National Science Foundation as per the Antarctic Conservation Act (most recent permit: ACA 2019-001). Observation of birds was approved by the Stony Brook University Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (2011-1881-R2-6.19.20-BI).

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

Below is the link to the electronic supplementary material.

Supplementary file 1 Additional details about the posterior predictive check procedure and results (PDF 2857 kb)

Supplementary file 2 Additional parameter posterior distributions (PDF 108 kb)

Supplementary file 3 Additional details regarding the effect of removing the site-fidelity term from the model (PDF 112 kb)

Supplementary file 4 Maps of breeding probability of all species at all investigated sites (PDF 1494 kb)

Supplementary file 5 Site metadata and breeding probabilities of all species in table form. Note that both the results of the combined “any skua” model (AnySkua) and the summed state of total skuas (TotSkua) are also included (CSV 34 kb)

Supplementary file 6 Additional details about the downsampling procedure to further investigate the results of the Chao2 estimated species richness. In addition, source code and full model results are available at GitHub, via the following URL: https://github.com/lynch-lab/Schrimpf_etal_InReview_PolarBiology.git (PDF 149 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Schrimpf, M.B., Che-Castaldo, C. & Lynch, H.J. Regional breeding bird assessment of the Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biol 43, 111–122 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00300-019-02613-1

Download citation

Keywords

  • Occupancy
  • Species distributions
  • Important bird areas
  • Antarctic specially protected areas