This report describes the at-sea spatial distributions of marine birds in Pacific OCS waters off the contiguous U.S. (Figure 1.1) to inform marine spatial planning in the region. The goal was to estimate long-term average spatial distributions for marine bird species using all available science-quality transect survey data and numerous bathymetric, oceanographic, and atmospheric predictor variables. We developed seasonal habitat-based spatial models of the at-sea distribution for 33 individual species and 13 taxonomic groups of marine birds throughout the study region. A statistical modeling framework was used to estimate numerical relationships between bird sighting data (i.e., standardized counts) and a range of temporal (e.g., Pacific Decadal Oscillation [PDO] index), spatially static (e.g., depth), and spatially dynamic (e.g., sea surface chlorophyll-a concentration) environmental variables. The estimated relationships were then used to predict spatially explicit long-term average density (individuals per km2) throughout the study area for each species/group in each of four seasons. Bird sighting data came from multiple scientific survey programs and consisted of at-sea counts of birds collected between 1980 and 2017 using boat-based and fixed-wing aerial transect survey methods. Spatial environmental variables were derived from remote sensing satellite data and an ocean dynamics model.
|Title||Modeling at-sea density of marine birds to support renewable energy planning on the Pacific outer continental shelf of the contiguous United States|
|Authors||Jeffery Leirness, Josh Adams, Lisa T Ballance, Michael Coyne, Jonathan J. Felis, Trevor Joyce, David M. Pereksta, Arliss J Winship, Christopher F G Jeffrey, David G. Ainley, Donald Croll, Joseph R. Evenson, Jaime Jahncke, William McIver, Peter I Miller, Scott Pearson, Craig Strong, William J. Sydeman, Jeannette E Waddell, Jeannette E. Zamon, John D. Christensen|
|Publication Subtype||Federal Government Series|
|Series Title||OCS Study|
|Series Number||BOEM 2021-014|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Western Ecological Research Center|