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A standardised method for estimating the level of visible debris in bird nests

Grant, ML, O'Hanlon, NJ, Lavers, JL ORCID: 0000-0001-7596-6588, Masden, EA, James, NA and Bond, AL 2021 , 'A standardised method for estimating the level of visible debris in bird nests' , Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol. 172 , pp. 1-7 , doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112889.

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Unlike records of plastic ingestion and entanglement in seabirds which date back to the 1960s, the literature regarding debris in bird nests is comparatively limited. It is important to identify standardised methods early so that data are collected in a consistent manner, ensuring that future studies can be comparable. Here, we outline a method that can be applied to photographs for estimating the proportion of visible debris at the surface of a nest. This method uses ImageJ software to superimpose a grid onto a photograph of a nest/s. The number of cells with and without debris are then counted. Our proposed method is repeatable, straightforward, and accessible. We optimised the method to estimate the level of visible debris in Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) nests, however, with some modification (i.e., adjustment of grid cell size), it could be applied to other seabird species, and terrestrial birds, that incorporate debris within nests.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Grant, ML and O'Hanlon, NJ and Lavers, JL and Masden, EA and James, NA and Bond, AL
Keywords: marine debris, plastic pollution, seabird monitoring, nest debris, standardised method, ImageJ
Journal or Publication Title: Marine Pollution Bulletin
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN: 0025-326X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112889
Copyright Information:

Crown Copyright © 2021 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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