Climate change and overfishing is threatening the future of seabirds

Long-term declines in breeding rates indicate diminishing food resources in ecosystems where ocean warming and other human impacts are highest, study warns

Thursday 27 May 2021 19:33 BST

Climate change is threatening the reproductive rates of seabirds in the northern hemisphere, scientists have warned — and those in the south may not be far behind.

In a study that analysed more than 50 years of breeding records for 67 seabird species worldwide, scientists at the Farallon Institute in California conclude that “frequent and more extreme events such as heat waves” has made it difficult for seabirds to breed. Birds out in the ocean are equally vulnerable.

As guards of the natural habitat, seabirds' lives and wellbeing depend on sound conditions both on land and at sea, said co-author Dee Boersma, University of Washington professor of biology and director of the Center for Ecosystem Sentinels.

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