If an oilspill contacts a colony of glaucous-winged gulls Larus hyperboreus, reducing the population by 50%, the population is expected to recover to its pre-spill level in c.20 yr. For common murres Uria aalge, this same situation yields a recovery time of c.70 yr. Assuming that oil is found in the study area, and based on the expected number of oilspills to occur and contact these colonies during the lease lifetime, and assuming that each oilspill contact causes a fractional population loss of 0.95, the probability of reducing the population to some fraction of its initial level was calculated. For gulls, only a 10% change of population reduction to less than one-half the pre-spill level was calculated for the lease lifetime. For murres, only a 4% change of similar reduction was calculated.-from Authors
Additional publication details
Simulations of seabird damage and recovery from oilspills in the northern Gulf of Alaska.