The SCAR Expert Group on Birds and Marine Mammals (EG-BAMM) is tasked with providing expert knowledge and research leadership in all matters related to birds and mammals in the Antarctic, in order to support research that will quantify the role of birds and marine mammals in the Antarctic marine and terrestrial ecosystems. We work with other components of SCAR towards a multidisciplinary synthesis of biophysical and biochemical coupling mechanisms in the Antarctic and to help collate and provide information on the status and trends of populations of specific species in the SCAR area of interest based on needs identified by SCAR or by the group. EG-BAMM also contributes to the conservation and management of Antarctic and subantarctic birds and mammals through the appropriate utilisation and interpretation of currently available scientific data.
One of the exciting prospects of EG-BAMM is the opportunity to develop new synergies within the wider Southern Ocean science community. This is particularly true in the area of ecosystem structure and dynamics, bearing in mind that these predators can provide an integrated signal of changes in distribution and abundance of prey. Further, the physical and biological coupling mechanisms can be elucidated in these species, due to our ability to track them accurately, measure relevant life history characteristics, and collect pertinent biological data and scales relevant to the organism.