• Victoria Bowers

Seabirds Dying On UK Shores

It has been devasting to read the recent news stories involving thousands of seabirds found lifeless along the shores of Orkney down to Northumberland, and North Yorkshire.

The Reports include an unprecedented amount of guillemots and razorbills along with smaller numbers of puffins and kittiwakes. The reason for deaths en masse, strange behaviour and ill health is still under investigation.

The UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology are investigating the causes and have suggested it might be linked to poisoning from algal blooms. Bird flu has been ruled out.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) said “The climate crisis was exacerbating the factors that lead to falls in seabird populations."

The study’s lead author, Michelle Paleczny from CEH said "Seabirds are particularly good indicator of the health of marine ecosystems, when we see this magnitude of seabird decline, we can see there is something wrong with marine ecosystems."

Six of the 25 species of seabird found in Britain and Ireland are on the UK’s red list for birds of conservation concern.

Info source: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/sep/18/scientists-investigate-hundreds-of-guillemot-deaths-on-uk-coastline

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