Strangford Lough

A model was used to predict the effect of shellfishing on the abundance of cockles and the survival of oystercatcher.

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Baie de Somme

A model was developed incorporating the four main shorebirds found on the Baie de Somme (dunlin, ringed plover, curlew and oystercatcher) and their invertebrate prey. Data on bird numbers was being provided by the Syndicat Mixte pour l’Aménagement de la Côte Picarde (SMACOPI). Data on invertebrate biomass densities and cockle stocks was being provided by the Groupe d’Etude des Milieux Estuariens et Littoraux (GEMEL). Model simulations explored the effect of various changes on shorebird mortality and body condition.

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Bahia de Cádiz

A model was developed incorporating the main shorebirds found in the Bahia de Cádiz and their invertebrate prey. Data on birds, their prey and habitats were provided by University of Cádiz. Model simulations explored the affect of various changes on shorebird mortality and body condition. Find out more

Bassin d'Arcachon

A multi-site model has been developed in which a population of birds migrates between European wintering sites and its Arctic breeding grounds. The model tracks the location and body condition of every individual in the population. The model predicts mortality and body condition at the end of winter, which determines breeding success, and hence long-term changes in population size.

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Solway Firth

The Solway Firth (54°45’N, 03°40’W) is a large coastal area consisting of estuaries, intertidal sediments and saltmarshes, fed by nine major freshwater inputs. In terms of the shellfish assemblage, the key species of interest to fishermen are cockles (Cerastoderma edule L.), whilst shorebirds consume cockles, mussels (Mytilus edulis L.) and Baltic tellin (Macoma balthica L.) (Howell et al., 2007). The area is of high importance for shorebird conservation, supporting internationally significant populations of many species. As a consequence of its importance for shorebird conservation, the Solway Firth has been designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA), Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Ramsar site.

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Doñana

Golfe du Morbihan

Many migratory waders and waterfowl occupy widely separated, estuarine locations. Birds often move long distances, sometimes in response to unfavourable conditions (e.g. bad weather). Predicting the consequences of local environmental change on the wider population may be enhanced by adopting a multi-site modelling approach.

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Dutch Waddensea

A multi-site model has been developed in which a population of birds migrates between European wintering sites and its Arctic breeding grounds. The model tracks the location and body condition of every individual in the population. The model predicts mortality and body condition at the end of winter, which determines breeding success, and hence long-term changes in population size.

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German Waddensea

A multi-site model has been developed in which a population of birds migrates between European wintering sites and its Arctic breeding grounds. The model tracks the location and body condition of every individual in the population. The model predicts mortality and body condition at the end of winter, which determines breeding success, and hence long-term changes in population size.

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Danish Baltic

A multi-site model has been developed in which a population of birds migrates between European wintering sites and its Arctic breeding grounds. The model tracks the location and body condition of every individual in the population. The model predicts mortality and body condition at the end of winter, which determines breeding success, and hence long-term changes in population size.

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Seine Estuary

A model was developed incorporating the three main shorebird species found on the Seine (dunlin, oystercatcher and curlew) and five invertebrate prey species. Bird count data were provided by the Groupe Ornithologique Normand and invertebrate biomass data by the Cellule de Suivi du Littoral Haut Normand. The model accurately predicted the distribution of shorebirds around the estuary in winter. Simulations of the effect of Port2000 and the proposed mitigation area are ongoing.

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The Wash

A model was developed incorporating the oystercatcher and shellfish populations, and the climate. The numbers of oystercatchers were recorded from a national monitoring programme and the abundance and distribution of shellfish from routine shellfishery surveys.

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Humber Estuary

A model was developed incorporating nine shorebird species and five of their invertebrate prey species. The numbers of shorebirds were recorded from a national monitoring programme and the abundance and distribution of their prey from surveys of the estuary. The model predicted the amount of habitat loss at which shorebird mortality rates started to increase.

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Southampton Water

Southampton Water was used as a test site for the development of a multi-species shorebird model. The model was developed incorporating the important shorebird and prey species in the site. The numbers of shorebirds was be taken from a national monitoring programme and the abundance and distribution of their prey from surveys of the estuary. The model was be used to assess how much information is required to parameterise a multi-species behaviour-based model.

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Poole Harbour

A model was developed incorporating the quantity, quality and tidal availability of the birds intertidal food resources. The model contains populations of each of the key wader species in the harbour and estimates of the frequency, intensity, timing and location of disturbing activities.

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Dee Estuary

In the past, cockle populations in each SPA have been sampled only for fisheries purposes. The surveys provide a good estimate of cockle stocks in the fished areas, but do not estimate the total stock throughout the site. We designed grid-based sampling schemes to estimate the abundance and location of cockles and mussels throughout each site and all three estuaries were surveyed. The data were used to develop individual-based models for each site.

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Exe Estuary

A model was developed and used to assess site quality and to predict the effect of local (i.e. disturbance from a cycle path) and global (i.e. climate change) environmental change on the survival of six species of overwintering shorebirds on the estuary. Site quality on the Exe was compared with that on three other estuary Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and predictions for the effects of climate change were compared with predictions made for another southern U.K. estuary, Poole Harbour.

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Burry Inlet

Menai Strait

A model was developed incorporating the quantity, quality and tidal availability of mussels on naturally occurring mussel beds and commercial mussel lays. The model also incorporated the commercial shellfish gathering activities, and the oystercatcher population.

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Humboldt Bay

This study predicted whether changes in climate, food abundance and disturbance from humans affected the ability of black brant geese to successfully use a stopover site to migrate between their non-breeding and breeding areas.

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Lauderdale Quay

This study used an individual-based model to predict whether habitat loss through harbour development affected the survival rate of Pied Oystercatcher.

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Case studies of individual ecology

We have applied individual ecology globally. Each case study typically comprises a data collection / collation phase to understand the animals, the environment and issues. These data are fed into an individual-based model to predict how environmental change may affect the species of concern. Predictions can then be used to inform environmental decision-making.

You can search for case studies either using the map or from the options below.