Multispecies tracking reveals a major seabird hotspot in the North Atlantic

Tammy E. Davies, Ana P.B. Carneiro, Marguerite Tarzia, Ewan Wakefield, Janos C. Hennicke, Morten Frederiksen, Erpur S. Hansen, Bruna Campos, Carolina Hazin, Ben Lascelles, Tycho Anker-Nilssen, Hólmfríður Arnardóttir, Robert T. Barret, Manuel Biscoito, Loïch Ballache, Thierry Boulinier, Paulo Catry, Filipe R. Ceia, Olivier Chastel, Signe Christensen-DalsgaardMarta Cruz-Flores, Jóhannis Danielsen, Francis Daunt, Euan Dunn, Carsten Egevang, Ana Isabel Fagundes, Sveinn A. Hanssen, Annette L. Fayet, Jérôme Fort, Robert W. Furness, Olivier Gilg, Jacob González-Solís, José P. Granadeiro, David Grémillet, Tim Guilford, Sveinn A. Hanssen, Michael P. Harris, April Hedd, Nicholas P. Huffeldt, Mark Jessopp, Yann Kolbeinsson, Johannes Krietsch, Johannes Lang, Jannie Fries Linnebjerg, Svein-Håkon Lorentsen, Jeremy Madeiros, Ellen Magnusdottir, Mark L. Mallory, Laura McFarlane Tranquilla, Flemming Ravn Merkel, Teresa Militão, Børge Moe, William A. Montevecchi, Virginia Morera-Pujol, Anders Mosbech, Verónica Neves, Mark Newell, Bergur Olsen, Vitor H. Paiva, Hans-Ulrich Peter, Aevar Petersen, Richard A. Phillips, Iván Ramírez, Jaime A. Ramos, Raül Ramos, Robert A. Ronconi, Peter G. Ryan, Niels Martin Schmidt, Ingvar A. Sigurðsson, Benoît Sittler, Harald Steen, Iain J. Stenhouse, Hallvard Strøm, Geir Helge Systad, Paul Thompson, Thorkell L. Thórarinsson, Rob S.A. van Bemmelen, Sarah Wanless, Francis Zino, Maria P. Dias

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


The conservation of migratory marine species, including pelagic seabirds, is challenging because their movements span vast distances frequently beyond national jurisdictions. Here, we aim to identify important aggregations of seabirds in the North Atlantic to inform ongoing regional conservation efforts. Using tracking, phenology, and population data, we mapped the abundance and diversity of 21 seabird species. This revealed a major hotspot associated with a discrete area of the subpolar frontal zone, used annually by 2.9–5 million seabirds from ≥56 colonies in the Atlantic: the first time this magnitude of seabird concentrations has been documented in the high seas. The hotspot is temporally stable and amenable to site-based conservation and is under consideration as a marine protected area by the OSPAR Commission. Protection could help mitigate current and future threats facing species in the area. Overall, our approach provides an exemplar data-driven pathway for future conservation efforts on the high seas
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12824
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalConservation Biology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • area beyond national jurisdiction
  • Atlantic
  • biologging
  • conservation
  • high seas
  • marine protected area
  • regional seas convention


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