Threats to our Seabirds
The IUCN has predicted that over half of seabird populations are experiencing declines. Also, seabirds are one of the most threatened animal groups in the world being impacted by a plethora of threats, many of them anthropogenic.
List of threats:
- Climate Change - storms can wreck breeding grounds and warmer oceans affect food supplies leading to starvation
- Fisheries bycatch - many seabirds become entangled or hooked in fishing gear. In New Zealand alone, over 1000s of seabirds are killed in bycatch and most likely that number is severely underrepresented
- Invasive mammals - mice, rats, stoats and cats are all deadly predators killing seabirds every year especially young chicks and eggs.
- Light Pollution - since 2018 over 500 seabirds were grounded across Auckland due to light pollution and this number is most likely under represented as more are most likely to be grounded but were not found by members of the public.
- Plastic pollution - seabirds can become entangled in plastic and even ingest plastic. This can be fatal for them as they become strangled by the plastic and if they consume it, it can causes blockages and punctures.