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Volunteer Seabirds At Sea Survey Methods 2020

Marine JNCC Publications Seabird Surveys 0963-8091 663 Birds Birds and the environment JNCC report series Seabirds Seabirds at Sea UK Species


The ESAS database was created in 1991 to allow seabirds ‘at sea’ datasets from around Europe to be combined. It contains over 3 million records of seabirds, cetaceans, pinnipeds, and other marine megafauna from North West European and North Atlantic waters. This makes it one of the largest databases of its kind in the world, with data collected and contributed by the 10 European countries comprising the ESAS partnership.

The ESAS partnership maintains ownership of the data but the database itself is managed by JNCC. Naturally, with data being incorporated from many different surveys, a standardised approach to data collection is needed, with a coding system that does not discriminate against non-English speakers. The database only includes data collected by accredited ESAS surveyors. In a UK context, these are surveyors who have been assessed by a JNCC accredited ESAS instructor and have met five key standards of data collection. These are:

• Bird identification

• Visual acuity

• Application of the methods

• Recording stamina

• Navigation

Resource type Publication

Topic category Environment

Reference date 2020·08·20

Lewis, M. & Dunn, T.E. 2020. Volunteer Seabirds At Sea Survey Methods. JNCC Report No. 663. JNCC, Peterborough, ISSN 0963-8091.

This document is designed as an aide-memoir to those taking part in JNCC’s Volunteer Seabirds at Sea survey programme but would also be useful to anyone using a distance sampling method to conduct bird or cetacean surveys.

Responsible organisation
Communications, JNCC publisher

Limitations on public access No limitations

Use constraints Available under the Open Government Licence 3.0

Metadata date 2020·09·14

Metadata point of contact
Communications, JNCC

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