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dc.contributor.authorLavers, JL
dc.contributor.authorHutton, I
dc.contributor.authorBond, A
dc.identifier.citationJennifer L. Lavers, Ian Hutton, Alexander L. Bond, Changes in technology and imperfect detection of nest contents impedes reliable estimates of population trends in burrowing seabirds, Global Ecology and Conservation, Volume 17, 2019, e00579, ISSN 2351-9894, (
dc.description.abstractOne of the most fundamental aspects of conservation biology is understanding trends in the abundance of species and populations. This influences conservation interventions, threat abatement, and management by implicitly or explicitly setting targets for favourable conservation states, such as an increasing or stable population. Burrow-nesting seabirds present many challenges for determining abundance reliably, which is further hampered by variability in the quality of previous surveys. We used burrow scopes to determine the population status of Flesh-footed Shearwaters (Ardenna carneipes) at their largest colony on Lord Howe Island, Australia, in 2018. We estimated a breeding population of 22,654 breeding pairs (95% CI: 8159–37,909). Comparing burrow scope models used in 2018 found more than half of burrow contents (20/36 burrows examined) were classified differently. If this detection probability is applied retroactively to surveys in 2002 and 2009, we estimate that the Flesh-footed Shearwater population on Lord Howe has decreased by up to 50% in the last decade, but uncertainty around previous surveys’ ability to reliably determine burrow contents means a direct comparison is not possible. The decline in burrow density between 2018 and previous years adds further evidence that the population may not be stable. Our results highlight a need for regular surveys to quantify detection probability so that as video technology advances, previous population estimates remain comparable. We urge caution when comparing population counts of burrowing seabirds using different technologies, to ensure comparisons are meaningful.en_US
dc.titleChanges in technology and imperfect detection of nest contents impedes reliable estimates of population trends in burrowing seabirdsen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
dc.identifier.journalGlobal Ecology and Conservationen_US
pubs.organisational-group/Natural History Museum
pubs.organisational-group/Natural History Museum/Science Group
pubs.organisational-group/Natural History Museum/Science Group/Functional groups
pubs.organisational-group/Natural History Museum/Science Group/Functional groups/Collections
pubs.organisational-group/Natural History Museum/Science Group/Functional groups/Collections/LS Collections
pubs.organisational-group/Natural History Museum/Science Group/Life Sciences
pubs.organisational-group/Natural History Museum/Science Group/Life Sciences/Vertebrates
pubs.organisational-group/Natural History Museum/Science Group/Life Sciences/Vertebrates/Vertebrates – Collections
dc.embargoNot knownen_US
elements.import.authorLavers, JLen_US
elements.import.authorHutton, Ien_US
elements.import.authorBond, Aen_US
dc.description.nhm©2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license ( The attached file is the published version of the article.en_US
dc.subject.nhmArdenna carneipesen_US
dc.subject.nhmDetection probabilityen_US
dc.subject.nhmFlesh-footed Shearwateren_US
dc.subject.nhmLord Howe Islanden_US
dc.subject.nhmPopulation statusen_US

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