Seabird Watch & Penguin Watch


Seabird Watch and Penguin Watch are research projects hosted at Oxford Brookes University and initiated at the University of Oxford and University College Cork.

Penguin and seabird populations are declining globally due to anthropogenic pressures like fishing, climate change and disease. Yet, access to the evidence needed to conserve them is hampered by logistical constraints and a lack of reporting tools.

To disentangle the confounded threats faced by both seabirds and penguins, our researchers are harnessing time-lapse cameras to monitor remote colonies of:

  • seabirds: in the Arctic, Palearctic, the UK and its overseas territories
  • penguins: on the Antarctic Peninsula, the Falklands/Malvinas, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

Citizen Scientists facilitate the processing of thousands of time-lapse images by identifying adults, chicks and eggs. Their clicks are turned into population counts to decision-makers and enhance conservation. If you'd like to help count, please visit the penguin or seabird research project pages.

Penguin Watch and Seabird Watch logos
Haya Abdalhadi

“Seabirds are rapidly declining and particularly vulnerable to extreme climate events. As they spend the majority of their life at sea and feed near the top of the food chain, they are also an excellent indicator of the marine environment's health. With your support, we are monitoring their behaviour and the shifts in their populations to use as an early indicator of change, be it extreme weather events, habitat fragmentation or pollution. The evidence collected is used by policymakers to help ensure the health and resilience of seabird populations, which ultimately leads to a healthier marine ecosystem.”

Dr Tom Hart (left), Department of Biological and Medical Sciences, Oxford Brookes University

How to support