World seabird numbers still falling, says a new review. Threats to the birds include commercial fishing and damage to breeding colonies caused by rats and other invasive species.
The study, published in Bird Conservation International, found that 28% of species are considered to be in the highest categories of risk. Conservationists are particularly concerned by the albatross family.
Threats to the birds include commercial fishing and damage to breeding colonies caused by rats and other invasive species. Seabirds make up just a small proportion (3.5%) of the world’s bird species. But researchers say they are an important indicator of the health of the oceans.
The review, carried out by BirdLife International, found that of 346 species, 47% are known or suspected to be in decline. It says that seabirds are now more threatened than any other group of birds.
Prof John Croxall, Chair of BirdLife’s Global Seabird Programme, told the BBC: “They are top predators in their marine systems. The fact that almost a third are globally threatened should really be telling us something about how we need to look after where they occur to breed on land and where they go to feed in the ocean.”
BirdLife assesses the threat status of seabirds on behalf of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which compiles the internationally-recognised Red List. On that list, 5% of seabirds are in the highest category of Critically Endangered.
Posted on: May 11, 2015
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Coastal Conservation is comprised of staff and technical advisors with significant expertise in biological systems and invasive species eradications around the world.Read More