Ecological Archives E094-243-D1

Heather J. Lynch, Ron Naveen, and Paula Casanovas. 2013. Antarctic Site Inventory breeding bird survey data, 19942013. Ecology 94:2653. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/13-1108.1


Introduction

Biodiversity inventories are a key resource, providing baseline information for assessing ecological change over time (Mittermeier et al. 1998, Myers et al. 2000). Such data are particularly valuable in the Antarctic, where the impacts of climate change and anthropogenic disturbance are difficult to assess due to the challenges of regular environmental monitoring. The reliance on baseline distribution and abundance data is inherent in the implementation of the 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which requires a priori environmental impact assessments for all human activities, including tourism, and monitoring to assess and verify predicted environmental impacts. Seabirds have historically been used as indicator species for the health of the Antarctic and surrounding Southern Ocean (Croxall et al. 2002), and interest in Antarctic seabird population trends has been intense for over three decades (e.g., Croxall and Kirkwood 1979, Croxall et al. 2002, Trivelpiece et al. 2011, Lynch et al. 2012a).

This data paper represents a compilation of census results for the Adélie Penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae), Gentoo Penguin (P. papua), Chinstrap Penguin (P. antarctica), Macaroni Penguin (Eudyptes chrysolophus), Blue-eyed Shag (Phalacrocorax atriceps), Kelp Gull (Larus dominicanus), and Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus) collected as part of the Antarctic Site Inventory (ASI) project from 1994/95–2012/13, including data previously reported (e.g., Naveen et al. 2000, Lynch et al. 2008, Lynch et al. 2010, Naveen and Lynch 2011, Naveen and Lynch et al. 2012) and seven years of recent data not reported in previous census compilations. The geographic area covered by these censuses extends from Marguerite Bay on the Western Antarctic Peninsula to James Ross Island on the Eastern Antarctic Peninsula, and includes the South Shetland Islands (including Elephant Island), and the South Orkney Islands. The study area is divided into seven regions (South Orkney Islands, Elephant Island, Northeast Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands, Northwest Antarctic Peninsula, Central-west Antarctic Peninsula, and Southwest Antarctic Peninsula); maps and further details may be found in Naveen and Lynch (2011) and Lynch et al. (2012a). A major analysis of pygoscelid penguin population dynamics using these data (through 2009/10) were recently published in Ecology (Lynch et al. 2012a); this updated data set includes three additional years of data not included in that analysis. Where additional published data (from other research efforts) are available for sites surveyed by the ASI, we have included these data so reported time series represent the complete body of data available for those sites. We have included citations to the original reports in the data set and encourage consultation of the original data sources for context and verification of the additional census records.

 

Metadata

Class I. Data set descriptors

A. Data set title: Antarctic Site Inventory breeding bird survey data 1994/95-2012/13

B. Data set identification code: Antarctic_Site_Inventory_Data_1994_2012.csv

C. Data set description

Principal Investigators: Dr. Heather J. Lynch (Stony Brook University) and Ron Naveen (Oceanites, Inc.).

Abstract: This data set represents the accumulation of 19 years of seabird population abundance data collected by the Antarctic Site Inventory, an opportunistic vessel-based monitoring program surveying the Antarctic Peninsula and associated sub-Antarctic Islands. This data paper, which include 1124 records from 113 locations for seven species of seabirds (Adélie Penguin [Pygoscelis adeliae], Gentoo Penguin [P. papua], Chinstrap Penguin [P. antarctica], Macaroni Penguin [Eudyptes chrysolophus], Blue-eyed Shag [Phalacrocorax atriceps], Kelp Gull [Larus dominicanus], and Southern Giant Petrel [Macronectes giganteus]) includes data already published by the Antarctic Site Inventory as well as seven years of recent data not previous published. Census data represent a mix of nest and chick counts; each census record includes the location, date, and precision of the census count, along with any auxiliary notes. Figures 1–4 clarify the location of specific breeding populations that may be new (and thus not previous reported) or ambiguous. This compilation represents the best single source of raw data on the spatiotemporal dynamics of the Pygoscelis penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula region, and provides population data on several flying bird species less frequently studied.

D. Key words: Adélie Penguin; Antarctic Peninsula; Blue-eyed Shag; breeding bird survey; Chinstrap Penguin; Gentoo Penguin; Macaroni Penguin; Pygoscelis; Southern Giant Petrel; vessel-based monitoring.

Class II. Research origin descriptors

A. Overall project description: The Antarctic Site Inventory (e.g., Naveen and Lynch 2011, Lynch et al. 2012a), is a long-term biological monitoring program that uses opportunistic vessel-based surveys to census the breeding birds and other biota of the Antarctic Peninsula and associated sub-Antarctic islands. This data paper represents the culmination of data collected in the 19-year period between the austral summers of 1994/95 and 2012/13. This data paper includes data already published (Naveen et al., 2000, Lynch et al. 2008, Lynch et al. 2010, Naveen and Lynch 2011, Naveen and Lynch et al. 2012) as well as seven years of recent data not previously published; this compilation represents the best single source of raw data on the spatiotemporal dynamics of the Pygoscelis penguins in the Antarctic Peninsula region.

Period of Study:1994/95–2012/13.

Site description: Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands (including Elephant Island), and the South Orkney Islands.

Research motivation: Changes in the distribution and abundance of seabirds breeding on the Antarctic Peninsula inform our understanding of ecological responses to regional climate change (Croxall et al. 2002, Trivelpiece et al. 2011, Lynch et al. 2012a) and direct human disturbance (e.g., tourism, marine traffic, commercial harvesting of the marine resources). The Antarctic Site Inventory (ASI) was designed to quantify and characterize long-term changes in breeding bird populations throughout the Peninsula and to identify factors (environmental or anthropogenic) driving these long-term changes. Data collected by the Inventory are intended to assist the implementation of the 1991 Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty, which, among other things, requires a priori environmental impact assessments for all human activities, including tourism, and monitoring to assess and verify predicted environmental impacts. This data set, which includes all of the ASI data and additional published data available for ASI sites, represents the most complete compilation of seabird distribution and abundance data for the Antarctic Peninsula currently available.

Sources of funding: US National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs (Award Nos. NSF/OPP-0230069 and NSF/OPP-0739515); The Tinker Foundation, Inc.; the Jeniam Foundation; the Cincinnati Zoo and Biological Garden; Environmental Defense, Inc.; the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, South Atlantic and Antarctic Department and Polar Regions Unit, the Government of the British Antarctic Territory; the German Environment Ministry (Umweltbundesamt); and many private contributors.

Research methods:

As described in previous ASI publications (e.g., Naveen and Lynch 2011), the Antarctic Site Inventory began field work in November 1994 to quantify and characterize long-term changes in breeding bird populations throughout the Peninsula and identify factors (environmental or anthropogenic) driving these long-term changes. The Antarctic Site Inventory is conducted by professional biological researchers placed on tour ships, private yachts, and government vessels, and site censuses are taken during zodiac landings or, occasionally, during zodiac tours.

In most cases, ASI census counts are obtained by direct enumeration of individual occupied nests (or chicks) using hand-held tally-counters. Each well-defined aggregation of breeding pairs is counted three times and results averaged. In rare cases, census data are obtained post facto by counting of photographs or analysis of satellite imagery. Census counts derived in this way are noted accordingly in the database. The accuracy of the counts is noted in the database, following the five-point scale reported by Croxall and Kirkwood (1979) and adopted by subsequent authors (e.g., Woehler 1993, Lynch et al. 2010, Lynch et al. 2012a).

The ASI conducts censuses throughout the breeding period from early November through February each season, and frequently-visited breeding populations may be censused on multiple occasions in a given year. In earlier publications (e.g., Naveen et al. 2000), we reported the average abundance across all censuses in a breeding season. However, in light of subsequent work on abundance fluctuations through the breeding season (e.g., Lynch et al. 2009), we now prefer to report the largest nest or chick count obtained in a given breeding season. For this reason, some abundance estimates reported in this data set may not exactly match their original publication. The date of census is included to facilitate comparison of counts across seasons that may differ in their timing relative to the breeding phenology of the species (Lynch et al. 2009, Lynch et al. 2012b). Due to nest lost and abandonment over the course of the breeding period, the number of nests available at the site to be surveyed is always smaller than the true number of pairs that attempted breeding in any given season. Statistical approaches to account for this inherent ‘availability bias’ are currently in development (e.g., Lynch et al. 2009, Southwell et al. 2010) and we have included census date explicitly to aid in continued development of such models.

Project personnel: Matthew Becker, Louise Blight, Rebecka Brasso, Stacey Buckelew, Ian Bullock, John Carlson, Laura Carlson, Rosemary Dagit, Matthew Drennan, Chris Edelen, William Fagan, Steven Forrest, Louise Forrest, Douglas Gould, Evan H.C. Grant, Brent Houston, Toby Kaufman, Harry Keys, Kristy Kroeker, Elise Larsen, Michelle LaRue, Holly Martinson, Philip McDowall, Megan McOsker, Aileen Miller, Thomas Mueller, William Patterson, Richard Polatty, Michael Polito, Melissa Rider, Iris Saxer, Katie Schneider, Laina Shill, Lesley Thorne, Susan Trivelpiece, Wayne Trivelpiece, Richard White, Eric Woehler, and Elise Zipkin. We would also like to acknowledge Vitaly Timofeev and Vladlen Trohymets from Akademik Vernadsky Station.

Acknowledgments: The authors would like to acknowledge the in-kind and logistical support provided by the officers and crew of the Royal Navy ice patrol vessel HMS Endurance; the US Environmental Protection Agency; the US Marine Mammal Commission; Lindblad Expeditions; the National Geographic Society; One Ocean Expeditions, Inc.; the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO); and other IAATO member companies (Abercrombie & Kent, Inc; Cheesemans’ Ecology Safaris; Golden Fleece Expeditions, Ltd.; Pelagic Expeditions, Ltd.; Quark Expeditions; Adventure Associates; G.A.P. Adventures; Hapag-Lloyd Kreuzfahrten; Hurtigruten Group ASA; and Polar Star Expeditions).

Class III. Data set status and accessibility

A. Status

Latest update: February 2013, up to and including all data obtained on commercial cruise ships during the austral summer of 2012/13.

Metadata status: Complete.

Data verification: The data were checked independently by all authors against the Antarctic Site Inventory database and previously published records.

B. Accessibility

Storage location and medium: All digital data are stored and backed up in Dr. Heather Lynch’s lab at Stony Brook University and a second copy of all files archived with Oceanites, Inc. at 3292 Arcadia Place, NW, Washington, DC 20015.

Contact person: Heather J. Lynch, Department of Ecology & Evolution, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY 11794 USA, E-mail: heather.lynch@stonybrook.edu

Copyright restrictions: Any paper using data from the Antarctic Site Inventory should cite this paper. Data contained in this compilation from other published sources should cite the original source.

 

Class IV. Data structural descriptors

Description of sampling sites

A. Data Set File

Identity: Antarctic_Site_Inventory_census_data_1994_2012.csv

Size: 114 KB

Format and storage mode: ASCII text, comma separated

Header information

Site_ID: Unique four-character ID for each site

Region: Two letter code to designate the site’s region: CW = Central-west region; EI = Elephant Island region; NE = Northeast region; NW = Northwest region; SH = South Shetland Islands region; SO = South Orkney Islands region; SW = Southwest region

Site_name: Site name according to the Scientific Committee for Antarctic Research (SCAR) Geographic database. Where multiple breeding sites occur at the same SCAR location, the names have been modified for clarity.

Latitude: Latitude of the site (decimal degrees)

Longitude: Longitude of the site (decimal degrees)

Species: The species associated with that row of census data (ADPE = Adélie Penguin [Pygoscelis adeliae]; GEPE = Gentoo Penguin [P. papua]; CHPE = Chinstrap Penguin [P. antarctica]; MCPE = Macaroni Penguin [Eudyptes chrysolophus]; BESH = Blue-eyed Shag [Phalacrocorax atriceps]; KEGU = Kelp Gull [Larus dominicanus]; SOGP = Southern Giant Petrel [Macronectes giganteus]).

Date: The date (mm/dd/yyyy) of census. If only partial information on census date is available, missing elements are indicated by “xx”. In other words, a December 2011 count in which the day is unknown would be indicated by “12/xx/2011”. A count from the 1986/87 breeding season with no additional date information would be listed as “xx/xx/1986(87)”.

Season: The breeding season associated with the census date. For example, a count on January 20, 2008 would be part of the 2007/08 breeding season, which is indicated by 2007 in this field.

Count: The number of active nests or chicks counted at the time of census. Active nests are defined as those that are being incubated or, if the clutch has not been initiated, nests that are being actively built and defended by a pair of penguins.

Counted_object: N = Nests (nests occupied by a breeding pair; equivalent to the number of breeding pairs); C = Chicks.

Accuracy: We have adopted the five-point scale reported by Croxall and Kirkwood (1979) and adopted by subsequent authors (e.g., Woehler 1993, Lynch et al. 2010, Lynch et al. 2012a): Accuracy = 1: accurate to better than  ± 5%; Accuracy = 2: accurate to 5–10%; Accuracy = 3: accurate to 10–15% (in practice, we extend this upper limit to 25% to ensure continuity); Accuracy = 4: accurate to 25–50%; Accuracy = 5: accurate to nearest order of magnitude. Where counts of individual groups of penguins (colonies, sensu Lynch et al. 2010) within the site were counted with different accuracies, the site-wide accuracy is calculated by propagating errors accumulated in each colony count assuming independence among the colony counts.

Notes: Additional notes regarding the census data.

Source: Source of the census data (Antarctic Site Inventory data listed as “ASI”).

 

Fig1

Fig. 1. Detailed map of Bryde Island East (BRYE) and Bryde Island South (BRYS) penguin colonies (top) and Bryde Island area map (bottom). Imagery used by permission by DigitalGlobe, Inc., copyright (2010).


 

Fig2

Fig. 2. Detailed map of Vernadsky Station (VERN), Galindez Island East (GALE), and Galindez Island South (GALS) penguin colonies (top) and Galindez Island area map (bottom). Imagery used by permission by DigitalGlobe, Inc., copyright (2004).


 

Fig3

Fig. 3. Detailed map of Selvick Cove (SELV), Spigot Peak (Errera Channel side) (SPIE), and Spigot Peak (SPIG) penguin colonies (top) and Selvick Cove area map (bottom). Imagery used by permission by DigitalGlobe, Inc., copyright (2012).


 

Fig4

Fig. 4. Detailed map of Py Point (PYPT), and Peltier Channel (PELT) penguin colonies (top) and Py Point area map (bottom). Imagery used by permission by DigitalGlobe, Inc., copyright (2004).


 

Literature cited

Croxall, J. P., and E. D. Kirkwood. 1979. The distribution of penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula and islands of the Scotia Sea. British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK.

Croxall, J. P., P. N. Trathan, and E. J. Murphy. 2002. Environmental change and Antarctic seabird populations. Science 297:1510–1514.

Lynch, H. J., W. F. Fagan, and R. Naveen. 2010. Population trends and reproductive success at a frequently visited penguin colony on the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Polar Biology 33(4):493–503.

Lynch, H. J., W. F. Fagan, R. Naveen, S. G. Trivelpiece, and W. Z. Trivelpiece. 2009. Timing of clutch initiation in Pygoscelis penguins on the Antarctic Peninsula: Towards an improved understanding of off-peak census correction factors CCAMLR Science 16:149–165.

Lynch, H. J., W. F. Fagan, R. Naveen, S. G. Trivelpiece, and W. Z. Trivelpiece. 2012b. Differential advancement of breeding phenology in response to climate may alter staggered breeding among sympatric pygoscelid penguins. Marine Ecology Progress Series 454:135–145.

Naveen, R., and H. J. Lynch. 2011. Antarctic Peninsula Compendium, Third Edition. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., USA.

Lynch, H. J., R. Naveen, and W. F. Fagan. 2008. Censuses of Penguins, Blue-Eyed Shags, and Southern Giant Petrel Populations in the Antarctic Peninsula, 2001–2007. Marine Ornithology 36: 83–97.

Lynch, H. J., R. Naveen, P. N. Trathan, and W. F. Fagan. 2012a. Spatially integrated assessment reveals widespread changes in penguin populations on the Antarctic Peninsula. Ecology 93:1367–1377.

Mittermeier, R. A., N. Myers, J. B. Thomsen, G. A.B. da Fonseca, and S. Olivieri. 1998. Biodiversity hotspots and major tropical wilderness areas: Approaches to setting conservation priorities. Conservation Biology 12:516–520.

Myers, N., R. A. Mittermeier, C. G. Mittermeier, G. A. B. da Fonseca, and J. Kent. Biodiversity hotspots for conservation priorities. Nature 403: 853–858.

Naveen, R., S. C. Forrest, R. G. Dagit, L. K. Blight, W. Z. Trivelpiece, and S. G. Trivelpiece. 2000. Censuses of penguin, blue-eyed shag, and southern giant petrel populations in the Antarctic Peninsula region, 1994-2000. Polar Record 36(199):323–334.

Naveen, R., and H. J. Lynch. 2011. Antarctic Peninsula Compendium, Third edition.

Naveen, R.*, H. J. Lynch*, S. Forrest, T. Mueller, and M. Polito. 2012. First, complete site-wide penguin survey at Deception Island, Antarctica reveals massive declines consistent with climate change. Polar Biology 35(12):1879–1888. [* joint first authors]

Southwell, C., J. McKinlay, L. Emmerson, R. Trebilco, and K. Newbery. 2010. Improving estimates of Adélie penguin breeding population size: Developing factors to adjust one-off population counts for availability bias. CCAMLR Science 17:229–241.

Trivelpiece, W. Z., J. T. Hinke, A. K. Miller, C. Reiss, S. G. Trivelpiece, and G. M. Watters. 2011. Variability in krill biomass links harvesting and climate warming to penguin population changes in Antarctica. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108:7625–7628.

Woehler, E. J. 1993. The distribution and abundance of Antarctic and subantarctic penguins. Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research, Cambridge, UK.


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