From GPS to Bayesian Statistics: seabirds movements and threats

Mary Woodcock Kroble
Tuesday 10 June 2014
Date: 17 December 2014
Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Speaker: Blanca Sarzo


Seabird populations are influenced globally by mortality from fisheries bycatch, plastic ingestion, harvesting of eggs and adults, introduced predators, etc.

Seabird colonies have been traditionally studied through reproductive variables because they allowed to perform relevant statistical analyses. In the same way, it has been develo- ped several kinds of studies, genetical, biochemical, capture-recapture, colour ring lectures, senescence, phenology, foraging, etc. that have improven the knowledge of the species too.

In last years it has developed cheap technology that allow placing geolocators, PTT and small GPS devices to know the migratory and breeding movements of many species of seabirds.

The main objectives proposed for this project are two. The main one is, using data from this two different sources, demographic variables and geospatial data for:

  • Examining seabird movements with regard to species, sexe, age, colony, etc.
  • Estimating and predicting the effects of climate change upon seabirds movements and trends.

The another objective is the assesment of interactions between seabirds and plastic debris from different perspectives: effects at sea (foraging, migration, etc) and effects at the colony (changes at survival, breeding variables, etc).

From statistical point of view, we propose the use of Bayesian statistics, because offers a wide framework for quantifying and understanding all the relevant uncertainties. In case of models, we think that would be necessary to carry out, at least, spatial statistics, longitudinal models, joint models and survival models.