Home > Explore Data & Reports > Modeling Seabird Distributions off the Pacific Coast of Washington


Menza, C., J. Leirness, T. White, A. Winship, B. Kinlan, J.E. Zamon, L. Ballance, E. Becker, K. Forney, J. Adams, D. Pereksta, S. Pearson, J. Pierce, L. Antrim, N. Wright, and E. Bowlby. 2015. Modeling Seabird Distributions off the Pacific Coast of Washington. NOAA National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. Silver Spring, MD. 63 pp.

Data/Report Type:

Data Report


This report presents seasonal distribution maps of selected seabird species off the Pacific coast of Washington. Maps were created to support state-led marine spatial planning by identifying ecologically important areas for seabirds. Seabird distribution maps were constructed by predicting relative density across the seascape using associative models linking at-sea seabird observations with environmental covariates. Seabird observations were compiled from federal and state monitoring programs with data between 2000 and 2013. Environmental variables were processed from long-term archival satellite, oceanographic, and hydrographic databases. All models show good to excellent performance based on model performance diagnostics and expert review. Although this work was completed to support marine spatial planning by the state of Washington, these data will benefit other organizations and other purposes including assessments of marine sanctuary condition, ecosystem health, coastal hazard impacts, and climate change.

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