SEATRACK (Seabird Tracking) is a module of SEAPOP with a time frame of five years (2014–2018). The objective of this module is to map the movements of Norwegian seabirds outside the breeding season – and at the same time follow populations that enter Norwegian waters from neighbouring countries.
We accomplish this by attaching light loggers to a large number of seabirds from Norwegian, Russian, Icelandic, Faroese and British colonies and follow them simultaneously for several years. The results will yield novel knowledge about how seabirds use the Barents Sea, Norwegian Sea and North Sea/Skagerrak in time and space. SEATRACK will reveal the population affiliations, migration routes and wintering areas of seabird populations within Norwegian waters and hence jurisdiction outside the breeding season, and how these factors vary over time. Knowing where seabirds are located at any given time will also render possible studies of which environmental factors (both natural and anthropogenic) have the heaviest impact on the birds outside the breeding season and the consequences these impacts have on the demography and development of the breeding populations to which the birds belong.
Investing in deeper insight
Seabird wintering areas and migration routes are among the most important knowledge gaps identified in a range of processes and reviews over recent years. Industry and authorities from several sectors have stressed the need for deeper insight into this subject. SEATRACK has therefore been jointly financed by the Ministry of Climate and Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association together with seven petroleum companies operating in Norway (Statoil, Eni Norge, ConocoPhillips, Total, RWE, Det Norske and GDF SUEZ).
Benefits from SEAPOP
SEATRACK implies and relies on close cooperation with relevant research communities in the respective countries, and the participating institutions contribute considerably. The connection to SEAPOP is close and important to exploit the logistics established by the programme on the various key sites. Moreover, SEAPOP's data on the demography of the instrumented birds and the breeding populations to which they belong are essential in the analyses of the results.