Birds, Barks & Boats

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Spatial analysis of marine bird communities and recreational disturbances along the Kitsilano shoreline.

School:

UBC

Department:

Earth and Ocean Science

Course:

ENVR 400: Environmental Capstone

Instructors:

  • Tara Ivanochko
  • Michael Lipsen

City of Vancouver:

  • Angela Danyluk
  • Nick Page

Student Team:

  • Nicole Yeung
  • Ada Li
  • Jamie Gauk
  • Braela Kwan

Strategy:

  • Greenest City Action Plan (GCAP)

City goal area:

  • Access to Nature

Summary

This project seeks to assess the status of marine bird communities from November to February along the Kitsilano shoreline of Burrard Inlet, which is an Important Bird Area (IBA). Our objectives were to determine:

  1. What birds are present within the study area;
  2. The geographical distributions and numerical abundances of marine birds; and,
  3. What anthropogenic recreational activities are present in the study area, and if there are any quantitative and/or anecdotal trends between recreational activity presence and marine bird presence.

To find answers to these objectives, we collected four months of data and conducted a spatial analysis using ArcGIS. We observed 5918 individual birds, 22 unique species, and 2533 recreational beach users. Numerical/spatial data analyses and anecdotal observations suggest that recreational beach activities do have an influence on marine bird behaviour.

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