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Statistical analyses to support guidelines for marine avian sampling: final report.

Author(s): Kinlan, B.P., E.F. Zipkin, A.F. O’Connell, and C. Caldow.

NCCOS Center: CCMA (

Center Team: Biogeography

Name of Publisher: NOAA

Place of Publication: Silver Spring, MD

Publication Type: NOAA Technical Memoranda

Date of Publication: 2012

Reference Information: NOAA Technical Memorandum NOS NCCOS 158

Extent of Work: 77 pp.

Abstract: Interest in development of offshore renewable energy facilities has led to a need for high-quality, statistically robust information on marine wildlife distributions. A practical approach is described to estimate the amount of sampling effort required to have sufficient statistical power to identify species-specific “hotspots” and “coldspots” of marine bird abundance and occurrence in an offshore environment divided into discrete spatial units (e.g., lease blocks), where “hotspots” and “coldspots” are defined relative to a reference (e.g., regional) mean abundance and/or occurrence probability for each species of interest. For example, a location with average abundance or occurrence that is three times larger the mean (3x effect size) could be defined as a “hotspot,” and a location that is three times smaller than the mean (1/3x effect size) as a “coldspot.” The choice of the effect size used to define hot and coldspots will generally depend on a combination of ecological and regulatory considerations. A method is also developed for testing the statistical significance of possible hotspots and coldspots. Both methods are illustrated with historical seabird survey data from the USGS Avian Compendium Database.

Availability: Online.

Related Attachment: Download file (.pdf)