Predicting and Assessing the Impact of Environmental Events on Seabirds at Tse-whit-zen Village

Author(s): Kristine Bovy

Year: 2017


Seabird remains, especially murres, scoters, loons, grebes, shearwaters and gulls, are abundant in the Tse-whit-zen faunal assemblage. There is considerable biological research on the effects of climate change on seabirds, especially in light of recent climate trends; for example, responses of seabirds to increased sea surface temperatures associated with El Niño events are well documented. In contrast, there has been relatively little research on the effects of recent earthquakes on marine birds. One might predict that nesting habitat could be altered due to coastal subsidence or tsunamis. However, effects on non-nesting birds, may be considerably more subtle, due to the obvious mobility of marine birds (compared to shellfish or other smaller animals). One possible effect could be a decline or change in the availability of seabird prey such as shellfish or small fish, due to substrate changes or eelgrass destruction. At Tse-whit-zen, herring is one of the major components of the fish assemblage, and many of the seabirds recovered were likely hunted while feeding on herring spawn. I examine the relationship between herring and seabirds at the site through time in response to past earthquakes. Spatial differences in taxonomic composition and taphonomy will also be examined.

Cite this Record

Predicting and Assessing the Impact of Environmental Events on Seabirds at Tse-whit-zen Village. Kristine Bovy. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430195)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -169.717; min lat: 42.553 ; max long: -122.607; max lat: 71.301 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14785