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Special Issue "Seabirds as Sentinels of Global Change"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability, Biodiversity and Conservation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 May 2021) | Viewed by 820

Special Issue Editors

Biological Station of Doñana, Spanish National Research Council, Avda. Américo Vespucio s/n, 41092 Seville, Spain
Interests: vertebrates ecology and behavior; conservation biology; bird migration; global change
Dr. Virginia Morandini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Oregon Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, Oregon State University, 104 Nash Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
Interests: population dynamics and ecology; conservation biology; behavioral ecology; polar regions
Department Evolutionary Ecology, National Museum of Natural Sciences, Spanish Research Council, c/José Guiterrez Abascal, 2. 28006 Madrid, Spain
Interests: ecophysiology; host-parasite interactions; behavioral ecology; conservation biology; extreme environments; polar regions
H. T. Harvey & Associates, 983 University Avenue, Los Gatos, CA 95032, USA
Interests: avian biology; ornithology; cetaceans; marine mammals; avian ecology; conservation biology; marine mammal ecology
Prof. Katie Dugger
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. U.S. Geological Survey, 12201 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA 20192, USA
2. Oregon Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit, Oregon State University, 104 Nash Hall, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA
Interests: population dynamics and ecology; vital rate estimation; habitat use and selection; conspecific interactions

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The rapid pace of environmental change in the Anthropocene is showing noticeable effects on the Earth’s ecosystems. Sentinel species can be used as proxies to diagnose how environments are changing, and what can be done to mitigate these changes. Seabirds are emerging as the best sentinel species in many marine environments, and their role in predicting environmental change and determining management strategies is becoming progressively more important as their sensitivity to environmental change is putting their populations at risk more than ever before. They can provide insight into ecosystem function, serving as biomonitors of ecosystem-scale changes and being quantitative indicators of ecosystem components and human activity. Thus, ecosystem changes can be monitored through their demography, diet, and foraging behavior. Indeed, seabirds have been used to monitor pollution, sizes of fish stocks, and effects of fishery management practices. Large-scale population dynamics reveal how seabird populations would be able to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions, and studies have shown that seabirds can show both dramatic responses to environmental change (seabird die-offs) as well as much more subtle physiological effects. Thus, and understanding these responses gives the opportunity to predict environmental changes and determine management strategies. Additionally, data logger technology can play a key role in analyzing the responses of seabirds to global change, providing information such as foraging area and diving behavior. We urgently need more information to understand what seabirds are telling us about their interaction with their environments.

With this Special Issue, we have a chance to include the knowledge provided by seabirds to understand what environmental changes the seabirds are indicating, how they respond to human activity, as bycatch, or different management decisions. That will allow us to predict future scenarios and make the right management choices to preserve the ecosystems’ health and develop sustainable ways to harvest them.

Authors are advised to submit a preliminary abstract, in order to receive guidance on the suitability of their paper in the Special Issue. Deadline for preliminary abstract is the 1st of February 2021.

Prof. Miguel Ferrer
Dr. Virginia Morandini
Dr. Andrés Barbosa
Dr. David Ainley
Prof. Katie Dugger
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • seabirds
  • global change
  • human activity
  • fisheries
  • bycatch
  • climate change
  • population dynamics
  • data loggers
  • pollution
  • emerging diseases
  • pathogens
  • predation

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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