UBC research shows world’s monitored seabird populations have dropped 70 per cent since the 1950s, a stark indication that marine ecosystems are not doing well.
Michelle Paleczny, a UBC master’s student and researcher with the Sea Around Us project, and co-authors compiled information on more than 500 seabird populations from around the world, representing 19 per cent of the global seabird population. They found overall populations had declined by 69.6 per cent, equivalent to a loss of about 230 million birds in 60 years.
“Seabirds are particularly good indicators of the health of marine ecosystems,” said Paleczny. “When we see this magnitude of seabird decline, we can see there is something wrong with marine ecosystems. It gives us an idea of the overall impact we’re having.”
The dramatic decline is caused by a variety of factors including overfishing of the fish seabirds rely on for food, birds getting tangled in fishing gear, plastic and oil pollution, introduction of non-native predators to seabird colonies, destruction and changes to seabird habitat, and environmental and ecological changes caused by climate change.
Seabirds tend to travel the world’s oceans foraging for food over their long lifetimes, and return to the same colonies to breed. Colony population numbers provide information to scientists about the health of the oceans the birds call home.
Albatross, an iconic marine bird that lives for several decades, were part of the study and showed substantial declines. Paleczny says these birds live so long and range so far that they encounter many dangers in their travels. A major threat to albatross is getting caught on longline fishing hooks and drowning, a problem that kills hundreds of thousands of seabirds every year.
“Our work demonstrates the strong need for increased seabird conservation effort internationally,” said Paleczny. “Loss of seabirds causes a variety of impacts in coastal and marine ecosystems”
The Latest on: Marine ecosystems
via Google News
The Latest on: Marine ecosystems
- Remember 2014’s Blob? Scientists are tracking another marine heat wave off the West Coaston September 8, 2019 at 4:52 am
A marine heat wave similar to the infamous “Blob” that disrupted ecosystems, shut down fisheries and hurt salmon runs five years ago has returned to the West Coast. Scientists are tracking an expanse ...
- Is 'The Blob' Back? Latest Marine Heat Wave Could Pose New Risks To Sea Lifeon September 6, 2019 at 11:02 pm
Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration fisheries announced Thursday that they are tracking the event, hoping to minimize its impact on marine ecosystems. The new event — ...
- A giant warm-water mass—similar to 'the blob'—could wreak havoc on West Coast marine lifeon September 6, 2019 at 5:21 pm
It wreaked havoc on the West Coast marine ecosystem and dampened salmon runs. Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have identified another expanse of warm water and say ...
- The Blob Is Back: Pacific Heatwave Returns to Cook Marine Lifeon September 6, 2019 at 2:33 pm
It’s second only to The Blob of 2014 and 2015, which caused cascading changes in the marine ecosystem. And already, the mass of warming water is hotter than in the early days of the last event.
- Scientists track new marine heat wave off West Coaston September 6, 2019 at 11:36 am
A marine heat wave similar to the infamous Blob that disrupted ecosystems, shut down fisheries and hurt salmon runs five years ago has returned to the West Coast. Scientists are tracking a new expanse ...
- New marine heatwave being monitored off Pacific Coaston September 6, 2019 at 7:00 am
About five years ago “the Blob” of warm ocean water disrupted the West Coast marine ecosystem and depressed salmon returns. Now, a new expanse of unusually warm water has quickly grown in much the ...
- Giant Mass of Warm Water Threatening Marine Ecosystem Off Pacific Coast, Could Rival ‘The Blob’ of 2014-15on September 6, 2019 at 6:46 am
A large and unusually warm mass of water is threatening to disturb the marine ecosystem along the Pacific Coast from Southern California to Alaska, scientists from the National Oceanic and ...
- NOAA Warns ‘Blob’ of Warm Pacific Water Could Disrupt Coastal Ecosystemson September 5, 2019 at 11:30 pm
5. Courtesy of Scripps Institution of Oceanography A giant mass of warm Pacific Ocean water similar to one that disrupted the West Coast marine ecosystem in 2014 has emerged this summer ...
- Scientists monitoring marine heat wave off West Coast which could disrupt ecosystemon September 5, 2019 at 5:54 pm
Government scientists said Thursday they are monitoring a new ocean heat wave off the West Coast which could badly disrupt marine life. Five years ago, an expansion of warm ocean water nicknamed "the ...
- New marine heat wave is reminiscent of ‘the Blob’ and scientists, researchers are concerned about ocean impacton September 5, 2019 at 5:48 pm
Scientists are tracking the heat wave they say is similar to the one seen in 2014 and 2015 that disrupted marine ecosystems, and affected marine mammal populations and fisheries from Alaska to ...
via Bing News