Marine Isles of Scilly SPA
Natural England is seeking to identify a boundary for a marine SPA around the existing Isles of Scilly SPA, which is currently limited in extent to the land. This will offer protection to seabirds of the existing SPA using marine waters around the islands, and bring this SPA in line with other SPAs in the UK which already have marine extensions or plans for such additional marine protection.
Data collection has focused on identifying the most important marine areas for shags Phalacrocorax aristotelis. Shags form a main component of the breeding seabird assemblage feature of the existing SPA. This species is amenable to defining a boundary at sea because of its predictable, relatively short foraging range, specialist feeding ecology and the relative ease with which data on shag distribution can be collected.
We wish to conduct an analysis to establish a recommended boundary for the new proposed marine SPA, based on a spatial modelling approach. It is anticipated that analysis will incorporate data on shag distribution and a suite of environmental variables considered possible / likely to predict shag distribution. The work will need to pay close attention to the methods employed in similar boundary setting exercises that have already been conducted for marine SPAs for inshore waterbirds and foraging terns.
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Expressions of interest by 9/11/2016. Contract Duration 5 December 2016 to 31 March 2017.