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Marine Bird Surveys

In 2005, Raincoast began 4 years of boat-based, systematic surveys of BC’s coastal waters to determine the at-sea abundance and distribution of marine birds. This work is part of our efforts to achieve long-term protection for maritime animals and their habitats.

Over 10,000 km of ocean trackline were surveyed between 2005 and 2008 collecting roughly 18,000 ‘sightings’ (totalling over 100,000 individual birds) in more than 70 species. Surveys occurred primarily in the waters between Dixon Entrance (the Alaska-BC border) and Johnstone Strait, as well as into inlets of BC’s central and north coasts.

Click to view a slideshow of common marine birds we encountered on our surveys.


The poster below summarizes the methods used to analyze the sightings data.

Sightings and scientific methods behind Raincoast's seabird data analysis

Sightings and scientific methods behind Raincoast’s seabird data analysis.

Maps and Reports

The raw sightings data and maps can be viewed in the report Marine Bird Surveys 2005-2008 Raw Sightings Information.


Marine Bird Survey Report (PDF)

Bird surveys cover

This information was then used in the popular report, What’s at Stake: the Cost of Oil on BC’s Priceless Coast.


What’s at Stake Report (PDF)

What's at Stake Report Cover

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