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Blue-footed Boobies Stop Breeding


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By Rileypie at en.wikipedia, via Wikimedia Commons
The charismatic Blue-footed Booby is an iconic species in the Galapagos Islands, and a huge draw for tourists with their bright blue feet and their famous mating dance. It is not listed as an endangered species due to a wide range from the USA to South America. Both BirdLife International and the IUCN Red List classify them as of “least concern.” Yet new research indicates that number of these birds in the Galapagos has fallen in the past 20 years, because the birds have stopped breeding.

 

A study published recently in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology documented a decline of more than 50% over the past two decades. In 1997, scientists first started noticing a strange trend at the 10 Blue-footed Booby breeding colonies located in the Galapagos Islands. They discovered that the colonies were empty. Professor David Anderson, from Wake Forest University in North Carolina, says: “Until 1997, there were literally thousands of boobies at these breeding sites and hundreds of nests full of hatching chicks. Then suddenly, the boobies just weren’t there. There were a few cases where we found isolated breeding attempts but most of these didn’t produce chicks.”

 

- See more at: http://www.conservation-jobs.co.uk/60984/blue-footed-boobies-stop-breeding/

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