Reconstructing long-term ecological data from annual census returns: a test for observer bias in counts of bird populations on Skokholm 1928–2002

Duncan McCollin

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Long-term ecological data are essential for conservation and to monitor and evaluate the effects of environmental change. Bird populations have been routinely assessed on islands off the British coast for many years and here long term data for one such island, Skokholm, is evaluated for robustness in the light of some 20 changes in observers (wardens) on the island over nearly eight decades. It was found that the dataset was robust when compared to bootstrap data with no species showing significant changes in abundance in years when wardens changed. It is concluded that the breeding bird populations on Skokholm and other British offshore islands are an important scientific resource and that protocols should be enacted to ensure the archiving of records, the continuance of data collection using standardised protocols into the future, and the recognition of such long-term data for science in terms of an appropriate conservation designation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-339
Number of pages4
JournalEcological Indicators
Volume46
Early online date26 Jul 2014
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Jul 2014

Keywords

  • Birds
  • assemblage
  • community
  • island biogeography
  • long-term
  • population

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