Seabird Distribution and Oil & Gas Potential Along the Northern Sea Route, Russia: An Arctic Marine Conservation Case Study
Date of Award
Dual Degree Master of Business Administration/Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (MBA/ESP)
International Development, Community and Environment
Seabirds are indicator species for the marine environment. Their populations are simultaneously affected by access to food resources and anthropogenic pressures including direct disturbance and habitat degradation associated with industrial development (Parsons et al. 2007). Therefore, using seabird distribution as a policy-relevant indicator for the Arctic marine environment supports an ecosystem based management approach aimed at protecting sensitive habitats from increased offshore oil and gas development.
This research identifies seabird habitat in the Russian Arctic utilizing in situ seabird observations from the Northern Sea Route to create a species distribution model. The spatial location of these areas will be compared to known oil and gas reserves to determine the extent future industrial development could interact with seabird biodiversity. This integrative approach will identify priority areas for conservation and provide a rationale for mitigating threats to the ecosystem as whole. By creating adaptive responses to environmental stressors in the Russian Arctic, stakeholders’ collective capacity to manage threats and promote the sustainable use of natural resources in the region will increase overall.
Kelly, Meghan, "Seabird Distribution and Oil & Gas Potential Along the Northern Sea Route, Russia: An Arctic Marine Conservation Case Study" (2018). International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE). 182.
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