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Seabirds Face Massive Decline Since the 1950s

Cara J

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Over the past 60 years, globally monitored seabird populations have declined about 70 percent, according to a recent study published in PLOS ONE. Seabirds include any birds that forage primarily at the sea such as pelicans, terns, gulls, cormorants, albatross and penguins. There are 325 species of seabirds from 14 different families, and about half of these species were represented in this recent study. As part of the study, researchers gathered literature from journal articles and reports on seabird populations that dated back to the 1950s — albeit most of the data were from the 1970s and 80s — then entered the information into a database. They found that the monitored populations that make up 19 percent of the world’s seabird populations are representative of the total 70 percent global decline of the species. That’s a loss of about 230 million birds since the 1950s, says study co-author Michelle Paleczny who completed this research as part of her master’s at the University of British Columbia, adding that thedecline wasn’t particularly surprising. “Seabirds are threatened by a suite of different human activities in the world’s oceans,” she said. Since the 1950s, seabirds have faced a series of threats including fisheries competing [...]


Read more: http://wildlife.org/seabirds-face-massive-decline-since-the-1950s/

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