The foundation for all nature monitoring is the collection of time series data for different variables; this is also the case with the work we do to monitor the status of our seabird populations. A time series is created by measuring a variable regularly over time. But how do we proceed in order to get the data?

The monitoring of seabirds at key sites involves many hours of observation and registration, all while one is as careful as possible to avoid disturbing the birds. Here, reproduction data of the Brünnich’s guillemot are being registered on Jan Mayen.
Photo: Ola Nordsteien

In SEAPOP, the monitoring encompasses annual measurements of the status of populations of different seabird species. This is first and foremost reflected through variables such as population size (how many are breeding), the adult birds’ reproduction (how many eggs and young are produced) and the breeding birds’ survival from year to year.

For certain species we also register what and how much the birds eat (diet) and the timing of when they breed (phenology), e.g. measured as the start of egg laying or time of hatching for the young. The largest part of this monitoring occurs at a selection of so-called key sites.

This is how we monitor seabird