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COVID-19 lockdown reveals tourists as seabird guardians

Hentati-Sundberg, Jonas and Berglund, Per-Arvid and Hejdström, Aron and Olsson, Olof (2021). COVID-19 lockdown reveals tourists as seabird guardians. Biological Conservation. 254 , 108950
[Research article]

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The widespread lockdowns put in place to limit the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) offers a rare opportunity in understanding how human presence influence ecosystems. Using data from long-term seabird monitoring, we reveal a previously concealed guarding effect by tourist groups on an iconic seabird colony in the Baltic Sea. The absence of tourists in 2020 lead to a sevenfold increase in presence of white-tailed eagles Haliaeetus albicilla, a sevenfold increase in their disturbance of breeding common murres Uria aalge and causing 26% lower murre productivity than the long-term average. Eagles did not prey on murres, but their frequent disturbances delayed egg laying and facilitated egg predation from herring gulls Larus argentatus and hooded crows Corvus cornix. Based on our findings, we suggest that human presence could be used as a strategic measure in guarding seabird colonies, and that a social-ecological systems perspective is vital for long-term success in protected area management.

Authors/Creators:Hentati-Sundberg, Jonas and Berglund, Per-Arvid and Hejdström, Aron and Olsson, Olof
Title:COVID-19 lockdown reveals tourists as seabird guardians
Series Name/Journal:Biological Conservation
Year of publishing :2021
Article number:108950
Number of Pages:4
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Keywords:COVID-19, Seabirds, Sea eagles, Social-ecological system, Disturbance
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000623545100008
ID Code:23276
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:15 Apr 2021 11:43
Metadata Last Modified:15 Apr 2021 11:51

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