Welcome to the North East Atlantic Predictive Seabird Atlas (NEAPSA), an open-access, interactive atlas developed to enable stakeholders to identify potential at-sea hotspots where vulnerable seabird species occur in the North East Atlantic.

The maps contained in the atlas were generated by researchers at University College Cork as part of a project to predict seabird vulnerability to oil pollution in the North East Atlantic. The region is an important habitat for a wide range of seabirds, who take advantage of the rich food sources in the Atlantic Ocean. These waters are also an important resource of fossil fuels and renewable energy, and knowing where the most vulnerable seabirds occur is essential if we are to mitigate any risks from future development of these industries.

NEAPSA allows users to:
  • View the maps currently in the system
  • Read overviews of the available maps in the atlas and learn about the input data source and quality;
  • Identify features, such as colonies, in the layers to find out more about them using the info tool.

Go to the Atlas

Data sources

The types of maps available to view in the atlas are:

Colony locations and population size
Input data for these maps was extracted from the JNCC Seabird Monitoring Programme (SMP) Database and from more recent surveys by BirdWatch Ireland and RSPB at key colonies.
Currently available for all seabirds breeding in Ireland, data for Great Britain will be added soon.

Predicted distributions at sea
Predicted at-sea distributions for all seabird species were generated by the seabird research team at University College Cork using a foraging radius modelling approach.
Currently available for all seabirds breeding in Ireland at a 5km2 resolution, data for Great Britain will be added soon.

GPS tracking data for selected species
Collected as part of this, and other, projects undertaken by the seabird research team at University College Cork.
Data to be added soon


This project is funded by the Irish Shelf Petroleum Studies Group (ISPSG) of the Irish Petroleum Infrastructure Programme (PIP) Group 4. The ISPSG comprises: Atlantic Petroleum (Ireland) Ltd, Cairn Energy Plc, Chrysaor E&P Ireland Ltd, Chevron North Sea Limited, ENI Ireland BV, Europa Oil & Gas (Holdings) plc, ExxonMobil E&P Ireland (Offshore) Ltd., Kosmos Energy LLC, Maersk Oil North Sea UK Ltd, Petroleum Affairs Division of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Providence Resources plc, Repsol Exploración SA, San Leon Energy Plc, Serica Energy Plc, Shell E&P Ireland Ltd, Sosina Exploration Ltd, Statoil (UK) Ltd, Tullow Oil Plc and Woodside Energy (Ireland) Pty Ltd.

Data have been provided to the JNCC Seabird Monitoring Programme (SMP) by the generous contributions of nature conservation and research organisations, and of many volunteers throughout the British Isles.

For details on the predictive modelling approach used see Grecian, W. J., Witt, M. J., Attrill, M. J., Bearhop, S., Godley, B. J., Grémillet, D., Hamer, K. C., & Votier, S. C. (2012) A novel technique to identify important at-sea areas for seabird conservation, Biological Conservation 156: 43-52.

Cover photo: Northern gannet Morus bassanus. Photo by Saskia Wischnewski.


We hope that you will find the atlas and the information contained here useful. We also welcome any feedback you may have, please get in touch