Winter ecology of marine birds

The Barents Sea has revealed large reserves of gas and oil. Increased shipping and drilling activity will be demanded in order to btain these resources, which in turn will increase the probability of a major oil spill. The aim of this project was to map the wintering areas and migration patterns of Brünnich‟s and common guillemots breeding on Spitsbergen, Bjørnøya, Hornøya (Norway) and Kharlov Island (Russia) in order to increase the general knowledge about the species and to strengthen the ability to make qualified environmental risk assessments before starting oil exploration in the Barents Sea region. The project was a Norwegian-French-Russian cooperation organized as an add-on to the Norwegian SEAPOP program. Between 2007 and 2010, a total of 408 Global Location Sensor (GLS) loggers (a light-based geolocation system) were attached to common and Brünnich's guillemots in order to collect data on their movements between August and April. We present Kernel density plots for Brünnich‟s and common guillemots in different months based on aggregated daily position calculations from all three study years. Time-Depth Recorders (TDR) implanted into the abdominal cavity of the birds were also used to record behavioral data the first year, but due to technical failures no data could be collected from these devices.