We are delighted to announce the public release of a new version of the iPCoD code!
In collaboration with John Harwood, SMRU Consulting have been hard at work recently developing and testing the iPCoD version 5 code. The iPCoD framework was produced to assess and quantify the potential consequences for marine mammal populations of any disturbance and/or injury that may result from offshore energy developments. It has been designed to use the kinds of information that are likely to be provided by developers in their Environmental Statements and Habitats Regulations Assessments.
The interim PCoD framework uses on expert elicitation to parameterise poorly understood relationships within the model. One such relationship is the effect of a disturbance on an animals ability to survive and reproduce. An expert elicitation was conducted in 2013, however, given new data on disturbance and effects on marine mammals, a new expert elicitation was conducted in June 2018 to update the iPCoD framework. The new expert elicitation considered the effect of disturbance in harbour porpoise, grey and harbour seals.
A full report on this expert elicitation on disturbance impacts is now available here: Booth et al 2019 – Disturbance Expert Elicitation
Here are a few highlights from the report:
- For all species the effects of disturbance on vital rates were considered to be lower than estimated in the 2013 elicitation (this is reflected in the new code)
- In general when comparing species, harbour seals vital rates were thought to be more sensitive to disturbance than grey seals
- For both seal species it was expected that disturbance would be most likely to impact on fertility and the survival of the ‘weaned of the year’ animals
- Experts agreed that harbour porpoise would be more susceptible to the effects of disturbance than either of the seal species
- For harbour porpoise it was expected that disturbance would be most likely to impact on post-weaning calf survival and fertility
Note: The new disturbance expert elicitation was not conducted for minke whales or bottlenose dolphins, so the effects of disturbance on minke whale and bottlenose dolphin vital rates have remained unchanged since v3.