eCite Digital Repository

A proposed framework for reporting mass mortality (wreck) events of seabirds


Glencross, JS and Lavers, JL and Woehler, EJ, A proposed framework for reporting mass mortality (wreck) events of seabirds, ICES Journal of Marine Science, 78, (6) pp. 1935-1942. ISSN 1054-3139 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2021 International Council for the Exploration of the Sea

DOI: doi:10.1093/icesjms/fsab046


There is an absence of quantitative criteria and definitions for unusual or anomalous mortality events involving birds, often referred to as "wrecks". These events most commonly involve seabirds, although terrestrial bird wrecks have also been documented. Typically, the peer-reviewed literature investigating wreck events lacks the details necessary to further our understanding of the circumstances and potential causes of these events. This study reviewed the peer-reviewed literature for wrecks involving Ardenna seabirds (shearwaters), and included grey literature and data collected by citizen science (community) groups. Our results showed a significant time-lag between wreck events and when the data was published in the peer-reviewed literature, which did not occur in the grey literature. Both the grey and peer-reviewed literature were often skewed towards reporting larger wreck events, with only the citizen science dataset capturing smaller wrecks. We outline a proposed framework for reporting mortality events, including the use of quantitative categories to document the numbers of birds involved and taxon-specific thresholds. In doing so, we aim to establish a framework to aid in the quantitative reporting and analyses of future seabird wrecks.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:seabird ecology, mass mortality, wreck, shearwater, ocean warming, Pacific blob
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Marine systems and management
Objective Field:Marine biodiversity
UTAS Author:Glencross, JS (Miss Jacqui Glencross)
UTAS Author:Lavers, JL (Dr Jennifer Lavers)
UTAS Author:Woehler, EJ (Dr Eric Woehler)
ID Code:144920
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Ecology and Biodiversity
Deposited On:2021-06-21
Last Modified:2022-07-11

Repository Staff Only: item control page