New seabirds world atlas

This video from Mexico says about itself:

Isla Rasa is a tiny island in the Gulf of California, Mexico. It is the breeding site of 95% of the worlds population of Heermann’s Gulls (Larus heermanni), and Elegant Terns (Sterna elegans) as well as a very large population of Royal Terns (Sterna maxima). These migratory seabirds come from thousands of miles away. The gulls migrate from the Pacific coast from southern Canada to southern Mexico and the terns migrate from the South American Pacific. During the summer, after the birds have settled into the nesting areas, the island is literally covered with birds engaged in the timeless rituals of reproduction.

In the middle of the 20th century, excessive egg collection drastically reduced the seabird population. Fortunately several Mexican and US conservationists helped to classify the island as a protected area in 1964. One very passionate Mexican scientist, Dr. Enriqueta Velarde, is now at the helm of Isla Rasa conservation. In continuously conducting research on the island, she has not only helped protect the seabirds and provide us with valuable science, but she has provided a training ground for students interested in conservation.

From BirdLife:

Marine conservation e-Atlas marks a breakthrough in sharing data to manage the world’s oceans

Tue, Oct 16, 2012

Marine conservation e-Atlas marks a breakthrough in sharing data to manage the world’s oceans

The first global inventory of important sites for the conservation of migratory marine species represents a major contribution to marine conservation and will prove to be a vital resource for meeting the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) target of protecting 10% of marine and coastal areas by 2020. It will also be crucial to the process of describing ecologically or biologically significant marine areas (EBSAs) and will have significant input into the siting of offshore energy infrastructure.

The e-Atlas of Marine Important Bird Areas was launched by BirdLife International at the Eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP11) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), in Hyderabad, India, on 16 October.

The e-Atlas covers 3,000 Important Bird Areas (IBAs) worldwide. It is the result of six years of effort that, to date, has involved around 40 BirdLife Partners, with the world’s leading seabird scientists from inside and outside the BirdLife Partnership, in collaboration with government departments of conservation, environment and fisheries, and the secretariats of several international conventions (CBD, EU Bird’s Directive, Nairobi Convention). Over 150 marine IBAs have already been recognised in the CBD process to identify Ecologically or Biologically Significant marine Areas (EBSAs).

The e-Atlas provides essential information for conservation practitioners and policy makers; for energy sector planners (windfarms, gas and oil exploration and drilling); for fisheries managers; for marine pollution management planners; and for the insurance industry.

Seabirds are now the most threatened group of birds. They present unique conservation problems, since many species travel thousands of kilometres across international waters and multiple Exclusive Economic Zones, and only returning to land to breed.

“Given the vast distances they cover, the long periods they spend at sea and the multiple threats they face there, identifying a network of priority sites for their conservation is vital to ensure their future survival”, said Ben Lascelles, BirdLife’s Global Marine IBA Coordinator.

The e-Atlas provides a model for inventories of areas of conservation importance for other mobile pelagic taxa, such as whales, turtles and sharks. IBAs have been found to capture a large and representative proportion of other biodiversity, providing a reliable and easily monitored way of identifying priorities for conservation. Effective management of IBAs will therefore help conserve a wider range of taxa and habitats. BirdLife has been working through the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative (GOBI) to link with other organisations working for the conservation of other marine taxonomic groups.

The e-Atlas represents a breakthrough in the format of BirdLife’s IBA inventories. It will be available exclusively online.

Like a Google Map, the e-atlas will be dynamically updated as new sites are identified and new data about them become available. It will be linked to other BirdLife data resources, including BirdLife’s species accounts, IBA fact sheets and State of the World’s Birds case studies.

“We hope that the e-atlas of marine IBAs will be a key resource for management of the oceans for years to come, and show the wider marine community the benefits that can be achieved when data are shared for conservation purposes”, said Ben Lascelles.

October 2012. New facts about marine life have enabled scientists to locate some of the ocean’s most ecologically and biologically significant areas (EBSAs), in the planet’s most remote places. At the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in Hyderabad, India, IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) calls on the international community to protect them: here.

4 thoughts on “New seabirds world atlas

  1. Pingback: Birds and hurricanes like Sandy | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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