Over the past six days, observers Timothy White and Glen Davis have been working together from sunrise to sunset to collect abundance and distribution data of seabirds, marine mammals and sea turtles from the Gunter’s flying bridge. This project is an extension of the Atlantic Marine Assessment Program for Protected Species (AMAPPS), which is an ongoing partnership between BOEM and NOAA. Timothy and Glen report high diversity and abundance in transitional waters and zones characterized by steep temperature and salinity gradients.
The following species list is rapidly growing and includes unique seabirds not often observed on the shelf: Trinidade Petrel, White-tailed Tropicbird, Black-capped Petrel, Brown Booby, South Polar Skua, Manx Shearwater, Arctic and Common Terns, Pomarine Jaeger, Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, Audubon’s Shearwater, Leach’s and Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, and Cory’s and Great Shearwaters — the last four are notably migrating to the north widely through the area.
As of June 15, marine mammals sightings include: Sperm Whales, Killer Whales, Striped, Atlantic Spotted, and Bottlenose Dolphins. Loggerhead Sea Turtles have also been observed.
Aboard the NOAA Ship Gordon Gunter, GU1702