BVI Seabird Recovery Planning

This project funded by Darwin Plus aims to provide comprehensive data on the population sizes, distribution and status of all breeding seabirds to the British Virgin Islands Government, with particular emphasis on the globally important population of Roseate terns. We will develop and trial species recovery methodology including, prioritisation, management and restoration of key breeding sites.

This project (2016-2018) is managed by the University of Roehampton and Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society in partnership with the Virgin Islands National Parks Trust, BVI Department of Conservation & Fisheries and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Assessment and conservation actions for Cayman Islands seabird populations

This project (2016-2019) funded by Darwin Plus aims to provide urgently needed information on the movements, ecology and status of resident seabird populations on the Cayman Islands. The project will focus predominantly on red-footed boobies and brown boobies, which breed in globally and regionally important numbers in this part of the Caribbean. A combination of bio-logging technologies and intrinsic biogeochemical markers, will be used to provide new insights into habitat use, foraging strategies and dietary habitats of the focal species. Information on breeding phenology and population biology will also be collected at colonies, and together these strands of data will inform conservation management at the National level, and aid the development of long-term monitoring programmes.This project is managed by the Department of Environment, Cayman Islands Government, in partnership with the Universities of Liverpool and Exeter and National Trust of the Cayman Islands.To read about our latest progress follow us on twitter @CaymanSeabirds

Investigating the asynchronous breeding of tropical seabirds

This 3 year project (2015-2018) is funded by the Leverhulme Trust's Early Career Fellowship programme. Supported by the University of Roehampton and the Anguilla National Trust.

The proposed study uses Brown and Masked boobies as model seabird species. These species have a widespread distribution around the tropics including well-documented breeding sites such as the study site for this project: Dog Island, located in the UK Overseas Territory of Anguilla, British West Indies. The link between seabird breeding behaviour and the marine environment will be investigated relating the timing of breeding of individual seabirds to their particular behaviour and breeding success. This research will aid in our understanding of, and enable us to predict, impacts of changes in the marine environment due to climate change and fisheries. Similarly, the broad-scale reproductive behaviour of seabirds observed in any year may be used to highlight changes in the marine environment strengthening the value of seabirds as bio-indicators of marine health.

Remote sensing of seabird energetics, behaviour & stress

This 3 year PhD project (2015-2018) is funded by the University of Roehampton vice chancellor's scholarship scheme.

The project (2015-2018) will measure morphological and physiological traits of adult seabirds along with recording foraging tracks at sea, birds will also be instrumented with data loggers that indirectly ascertain forging success and energy expenditure. These variables will then be correlated with measures of reproductive success. This project also includes an explicit conservation angle, as there will be a particular emphasis on comparing birds from rat-infested islands with birds from non-infested locations. .

Using Seabirds for Caribbean marine planning

This two year (2013-2016) Darwin Plus funded project aimed to (1) identify key feeding areas of seabirds using GPS technology (2) Establish and support long-term monitoring strategies in Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands and (3) Identify current and future threats facing seabird populations in Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands

This project was managed by the University of Liverpool in partnership with the Anguilla National Trust, Jost Van Dykes Preservation Society, National Parks Trust of the Virgin Islands and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. The outputs from this project will feed into future sustainable marine spatial planning in the UK Caribbean overseas territories

To date, over 200 seabirds representing globally and regionally important populations breeding in Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands have been tracked using GPS technology to determine key foraging areas and relate these to habitat and environmental variables and potential threats within the region