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North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD)

February 12, 2020

The North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database (NPPSD) was created in 2005 to consolidate data on the oceanic distribution of marine bird species in the North Pacific. Most of these data were collected using at-sea strip-transect surveys within defined areas and at known locations. The NPPSD also contains observations of other bird species and marine mammals. The original NPPSD combined data from 465 surveys conducted between 1973 and 2002, primarily in waters adjacent to Alaska. These surveys included 61,195 sample transects with location, environment, and metadata information, and the data were organized in a flat-file format. In developing revising the NPPSD (2.0), our goals were to add new datasets, to make significant improvements to database functionality and to provide the database online. The NPPSD 2.0 included data from a broadened geographic range within the North Pacific, including new observations made offshore of the Russian Federation, Japan, Korea, British Columbia (Canada), Oregon, and California. These data were imported into a relational database, proofed, and structured in a common format. The NPPSD 2.0 contained 351,674 samples (transects) collected between 1973 and 2012, representing a total sampled area of 270,259 square kilometers, and extends the time series of samples in some areas-notably the Bering Sea-to four decades. It contained observations of 16,988,138 birds and 235,545 marine mammals. The third edition of the NPPSD database corrects several data duplication errors, updates the taxonomy to the current standard, and added additional data collected since 2012. The NPPSD 3.0 includes 460,2985 samples; a 30% increase in the number of transects. It contains observations of 20,098,635 birds and 365,227 marine mammals. This updated version of the NPPSD database and is available on the USGS Alaska Science Center NPPSD web site. Supplementary materials include an updated set of standardized taxonomic codes, reference maps that show the spatial and temporal distribution of the survey efforts and a downloadable query tool.