Sunday, 26 October 2014

Marine Bird Monitor


Somewhat sad news as it looks as if Professor Tim Berkhead's 42 year monitoring of Guillemot (Uria aalge) breeding on Skomer is due to end due to removal of its modest annual funding (http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/oct/26/guillemots-study-skomer-wales-budget-cut-tim-birkhead). Berkhead has argued that such monitoring gives us an insight into the general health of our seas (largely due to anthropogenic actions) and to long-term climate change. In other areas Guillemot breeding has been decimated by humans taking their preferred sand eel prey to convert into agricultural fertiliser. It is also notable that the birds now breed some 2.5 weeks earlier than they did at the start of Berkhead's PhD studies.

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