Seagulls prey on fishermen’s catches during 2018 annual herring run in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area. (Michael Briones photo)

Seagulls prey on fishermen’s catches during 2018 annual herring run in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area. (Michael Briones photo)

Special seagull research project slated to begin next month in Parksville

Birds to be trapped and released, fitted with GPS tracking devices

Starting next month, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) will begin a seagull-centered research project in the Parksville area.

City council granted permission during their last meeting, on Dec. 7, for ECCC to conduct research on the Salish Sea seagulls. A similar request had been made by ECCC earlier this year, but was delayed due to the inability to conduct field research within the “time constraints.” The researchers involved will be based at the Pacific Wildlife Research Centre in Delta, and the Simon Fraser University in Burnaby.

In a letter penned to Parksville city staff, the research team said they intend to start field work between January and March next year, but would follow up with precise dates once a field plan was finalized. The letter stated they plan to investigate the habitats and movements of the glaucous-winged gulls in hopes to better understand the health of the Salish Sea.

READ MORE: Dead salmon smolt at Island river remain a mystery

“An area of importance to both humans and wildlife,” read the letter. “The Salish Sea is a key site for wintering marine birds, and attracts birds from South America to Alaska.”

In assessing the habitats and movements of wintering gulls, the ECCC aims to understand how variations in the gull’s movement can influence their exposure to man-made stressors such as pollution and marine transportation.

As part of their field research, the ECCC will trap and release gulls in order to collect blood and feather samples for diet and contaminant analysis. The gulls will also be fitted with GPS tracking devices.

The ’ letter states the ECCC animal care committee has approved their techniques, as the birds will be captured, sampled and released unharmed.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

EnvironmentParksvillequalicum beachresearch

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cheryl Dill visits the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Talking jobs, tourism and business with Cheryl Dill in Parksville

Podcast: COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on Vancouver Island

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

Polystyrene has been outlawed as a take-out option for restaurants in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Black Press Media file photo)
Styrofoam done as a takeout option on Island’s Pacific Rim

Tofino and Ucluelet ban polystyrene take-out containers

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

This photo shows crews battling the fire at 7987 Galbraith Cres. that caused extensive damage and displaced six residents early Sunday morning. (Central Saanich Fire/Department Twitter)
Six fortunate to escape terrifying early-morning fire in Greater Victoria

Damage to the duplex extensive with one resident said to be ‘catatonic’ after escaping building

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Wildfire fanned by winds near Merritt prompts evacuation alert

BC Wildfire Service says the suspected human-caused blaze was fanned by winds

Most Read