Humber Estuary

The Humber estuary contains several ports and other industrial developments as well as holding important populations of a range of shorebirds. Sea level rise is predicted to reduce the area of mudflats in the Humber by up to 8%.

Issues

Will habitat loss caused by sea level rise and port developments increase the mortality rate of shorebirds in the Humber estuary.

Modelling

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.

Results

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Collaboration

ABP Marine Environmental Research

Related Paper:

Stillman, R. A., West, A. D., Goss-Custard, J. D., McGrorty, S., Frost, N. J., Morrisey, D. J., Kenny, A. J. & Drewitt, A. L. (2005) Predicting site quality for shorebird communities: a case study on the Humber estuary, UK. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 305, 203-217.