Dr. Edward Kroc: Protecting Urban Seabird and Shorebird Nesting Habitat
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM (Eastern Time)
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This talk will explore how various seabirds and shorebirds use the urban environment as productive breeding habitat. Gulls will be the main biological family of focus, with particular attention paid to the urban centres of the Salish Sea region, including Vancouver and Victoria, BC, and Seattle, WA. Many species of gull have made densely populated urban centres their permanent nesting locations, but current laws protecting these habitats sorely lag behind our modern understanding of the relevant urban ecology. In the Salish Sea region, Glaucous-winged Gulls nest on rooftops in a variety of locations, Double-crested and Pelagic Cormorants have built large colonies on steel bridges, and Black Oystercatchers now frequently attempt to rear young on public and private jetties. Drawing from recent and current research, we will explore the reproductive dynamics and distribution of these species in the urban environment, and indicate the unique challenges these populations face in the context of extreme human interaction and insufficient legal protections that are largely designed for non-urban breeders. Recommendations for education and outreach, as well as for legal efforts, will be discussed.
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