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Seabird 2000


Seabird 2000 was the third complete census of the entire breeding seabird population of Britain and Ireland. It was co-ordinated by JNCC in partnership with other organisations.  Funding for the day-to-day running of the project was provided by the statutory country conservation agencies and RSPB.  These and other Seabird 2000 partners also greatly contributed to the fieldwork by providing personnel and/or additional funds to contract specialist seabird surveyors. For surveys of the more remote parts of the British Isles, additional funding was provided by the Atlantic Frontier Environmental Network (UK Offshore  Operators Association), EU INTERREG II-C Atlantic Areas Programme (project no. 414), The Heritage Council, Shetland Amenity Trust, The Sullom Voe Association Ltd. and Talisman Energy Ltd. In all, Seabird 2000 cost approximately £1.3-1.6 million.


Beginning in 1998 and completed in 2002, Seabird 2000 maintained (or improved on) the survey coverage of species well-surveyed in the previous complete census, the Seabird Colony Register (SCR). This entailed counting over 8 million breeding seabirds at 3,300 coastal colonies, distributed along 40,000 km of the British and Irish coastlines. Improved coverage was achieved by extending the survey to some 900 inland colonies of terns, gulls and Great Cormorants. For the first time accurate baseline estimates for populations of Leach’s and European Storm-petrels and Manx Shearwaters were derived. This involved visiting about 170 islands, most of which were remote and difficult to access, at times of the summer when other species were not being censused.  A complete census of Northern gannets was not undertaken in Seabird 2000.  A regular stand-alone census of all British and Irish gannet colonies takes place every 10 years; the last complete survey was undertaken in 2004/5.


Seabird 2000 Results


The results of Seabird 2000 were summarised in Seabird Populations of Britain and Ireland, by P. Ian Mitchell, Stephen Newton, Norman Ratcliffe & Tim E. Dunn (eds.), published in 2004 by T & AD Poyser, an imprint of A&C Black, ISBN 0-7136-6901-2.



Follow this link for an executive summary of Seabird 2000's results.


Follow this link to download for each species, copies of the distribution maps and tables of regional population estimates derived from Seabird 2000 results.



Errata Unfortunately Seabird Populations of Britain and Ireland contains several minor mistakes, which are listed in an Errata.



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Download Seabird 2000 Census Data


Alternatively search for Seabird 2000 data for specific locations using an interactive map by clicking on this logo:


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Seabird 2000 Partners

The following were partners with JNCC in Seabird 2000. In addition, many other organisations and individuals have contributed to data collection: