Swoop Into The
Seabird Tracking Database
The BirdLife International Seabird Tracking Database is the largest collection of seabird tracking data in existence. It serves as a central store for seabird tracking data from around the world and aims to help further seabird conservation work and support the tracking community. Read more about the BirdLife Marine Programme.
Seabirds are one of the most threatened groups of birds. However, because of their highly dispersed and mobile ecology, their distributions and behaviour at-sea are not well understood. Remote tracking data, such as that held here, are therefore vital to help understand how they use the oceans and identify important sites for their conservation.
Originally called Tracking Ocean Wanderers, this database brings together data from a range of seabird species and families, has been made possible entirely though the unique collaboration of seabird scientists from around the world. The website has been developed to build links between data owners and their data, as well as provide tools to support data submission and standardising as well as to foster further seabird conservation work.
This website was supported by the Global Ocean Biodiversity Initiative with a grant from the International Climate Initiative (IKI). The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports this initiative on the basis of a decision adopted by the German Bundestag.
1997 – BirdLife establishes its Global Seabird Conservation Programme, particularly in response to albatross declines driven by bycatch in longline and trawl fisheries, which required coordinated research and action across the BirdLife Partnership.1997
2003 – The Global Procellariiform Tracking Workshop is held in Gordon’s Bay, South Africa, bringing together holders of remote tracking data of albatrosses and petrels from around the world to map their distributions and inform conservation efforts.2003
2004 – BirdLife's Tracking Ocean Wanderers publication presents the results from the workshop, and the data are held in the Global Procellariiform Tracking Database.2004
2007 – The first regional marine IBA workshop is held for the Baltic region. Eight regional workshops will be held between 2007 and 2012 to bring together BirdLife Partner organisations to identify the most important sites for seabird conservation.2007
2010 – The Global Procellariiform Tracking Database is brought online for the first time, enabling researchers to browse the database and submit data requests through the website.2010
2012 – BirdLife launches its Marine IBA E-Atlas, the first ever global inventory of priority sites for marine conservation. Around 3,000 marine Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs) were identified using tracking data, and presented in an interactive online map.2012
2013 – A new penguin-focussed project is launched at the 8th International Penguin Conference in Bristol, UK. Over 1500 tracks from 9 species were contributed by collaborators around the world to further penguin conservation research.2013
2014 – The database is completely redesigned, expanded to cover all seabird species, and re-launched as the Seabird Tracking Database.2014
2017 – The Seabird Tracking Database passes 10 million data points for seabird conservation.2017
2021 – Over 260 researchers have contributed tracking data for 150 species. With 27 million data points, the Seabird Tracking Database is the largest collection of seabird tracking data in existence.2021
2023 - Work is completed on replacing the previous data management system and this website is lauched!2023