Birds that are now globally threatened include the kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) and the Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica), which breed on UK sea cliffs. Meanwhile, on land, the Snowy Owl is struggling to find prey as ice melts in the North American Arctic, say conservation groups. The iconic bird is listed as vulnerable to extinction for the first time. Worldwide, over a quarter of more than 200 bird species reassessed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature have been moved to higher threat categories.
The population of blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) - the seabirds with characteristically colorful feet - has been declining in the Galápagos islands. The birds' numbers have dropped more than 50 percent in less than 20 years, according to a study published Monday (April 21) in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology. The researchers speculated that a lack of sardines, a source of food for the boobies, might be to blame for the decline.
Concern is growing for the future of the Scottish colony of the small seabird species Leach’s storm petrel (Oceanodroma leucorhoa) which is suffering a serious decline in numbers off the Scottish coast. Though the Leach’s storm petrel is plentiful in numbers on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts of North America, it is in decline on this side of the Atlantic where St Kilda, under the care of the National Trust for Scotland (NTS), hosts the largest colony for the species.
The Numeniini — a tribe of large waders including curlews and godwits — is one of the most threatened bird groups on the planet. The once-abundant Eskimo Curlew Numenius borealis of the Americas is now considered Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct), having last been spotted with certainty in the 1960s. Like the Eskimo Curlew, the possibility of the extinction of the Slender-billed Curlew (Numenius tenuirostris) cannot be confirmed for sure until we have scoured the entirety of its known breeding grounds in the Siberian wilderness for a remnant population.
In his book, Dutch toxicologist Henk Tennekes (2010) makes the case that the contamination of surface water by neonicotinoids is so widespread in the Netherlands (and possibly elsewhere in Europe), that loss of insect biomass on a continental scale is behind many of the widespread declines that are being seen, be they of marsh birds, heath or meadow birds or even coastal species. This suggests that we should be looking at possible links between neonicotinoid insecticides and birds, not on a farm scale, but in the context of whole watersheds and regions.
The Chesapeake Bay is host to the largest breeding population of osprey (Pandion haliaetus) in the world. They tell us when spring is here and give us clues about the bay's health. Now, as osprey begin their annual migration to Central and South America, biologists say there’s been a decline in population during the last few years.
Bempton Cliffs bird reserve was in fine fettle last week. The last of its population of puffins (Fratercula arctica) had departed for the winter a few weeks earlier, while its thousands of young gannets (Morus bassanus) were still being cared for by their parents on the chalk cliffs of the East Yorkshire nature site. For good measure, kittiwakes (Rissa tridactyla), cormorants (Phalacrocorax carbo) and fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) were also bathing in the sunshine.
The Living Planet Report Canada, published today, is the most comprehensive synthesis of Canadian wildlife population trends ever conducted. It shows that on average from 1970 to 2014, half of monitored vertebrate wildlife species in the study suffered population declines. Of those, average decline is 83 per cent since 1970. The picture is also worrisome for Canada’s federally protected species. Since 2002, when the Species at Risk Act became law, federally listed at-risk wildlife populations declined by 28 per cent, the report shows.
South Otago Forest & Bird is staging a "yellow-eyed penguins in crisis" march in Balclutha next week. Members will be taking to the South Otago town's main street footpath on Thursday, to highlight the plight of the nationally endangered species. The rate of population decline in coastal Otago and the Catlins indicated the yellow-eyed penguin (Megadyptes antipodes) would disappear by 2060, or sooner, South Otago Forest & Bird chairman Roy Johnstone said.
The population of blue-footed boobies (Sula nebouxii) - the seabirds with characteristically colorful feet - has been declining in the Galápagos islands. The birds' numbers have dropped more than 50 percent in less than 20 years, according to a study published Monday (April 21) in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology. The researchers speculated that a lack of sardines, a source of food for the boobies, might be to blame for the decline. The researchers first noticed the decrease in the booby population in 1997.