The Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming regions on earth, and it is likely that the abundance and distribution of marine predators will change as a result.Procellariiform seabirds are highly mobile predators, which target specific habitat characteristics associated with underlying distributions of prey and areas of increased prey availability. We use ship surveys and hurdle models, to estimate the summer distribution and relative density of 11 seabird species within the northern Antarctic Peninsula marine ecosystem. Models differed among species; however, sea surface temperature and depth were frequently associated with seabird occurrence and had the greatest explanatory power across many species. Null models based on observation data were better at predicting seabird density than models that included environmental covariates. This suggests that the main driver of distribution patterns is the broad-scale habitat features, and fine-scale aggregations within these ranges are harder to predict. Our seabird distribution models reflect known habitat associations, species hotspots, and community organization relative to oceanic and coastal marine processes. Application of species distribution models will benefit the assessments of critical habitat and potential responses to climate change and anthropogenic disturbance, which will provide insight into how species may change in polar ecosystems.
After years of resistance, trying to evade the National Sports Development Code, the All India Tennis Association (AITA) has finally decided to fall in line with the guidelines laid down by the sports ministry.The sports ministry had raised strong objection at the Annual General Body Meeting that the AITA conducted in Indore in September and had declared it invalid as it flouted the said guidelines. (Also read: IPTL: Only one out of Murray, Djokovic, Federer, Nadal to play)The ministry has often warned the AITA in the past for not abiding by the Sports Code, which puts a cap on age and tenure of the office-bearers.Anil Khanna’s continuance as president of the AITA was one sticking point, but the veteran administrator, in the last AGM, refused to continue, after being elected for a second term, as the chief and was made the life president of the AITA. Khanna had served three consecutive terms as secretary general of the AITA before he was elected as president in 2012.But with sports ministry not ready to relent, the AITA has finally decided to adopt the Sports Code and has called an Executive Committee meeting on December 1 in the Capital where it will decide the road ahead.”We have never been against the sports ministry or its guidelines. We will soon elect an interim president and the future course of action will be decided with a unanimous vote at the executive committee meeting,” AITA secretary general Hironmoy Chatterjee told India Today.As per the ministry guidelines, the election of office-bearers can take place only at the AGM. “As per our (AITA) constitution, we can have the election at the Special General Meeting, so we will have a discussion on all these issues on December 1,” Chatterjee said.advertisementOnly three of the seven vice-presidents in the AITA are eligible to be elected as president since four out of seven are over the age of 70. Among the three eligible candidates, Praveen Mahajan is the front-runner, although Chatterjee stopped short of taking her name. “There are other names as well and we will take a unanimous decision.”