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Threats to sea birds

Watch: Threats to sea birds: Interview with an ornithologist

Ornithologist, Professor Peter Ryan, describes the threats to birds from human activity as being different in terrestrial and marine environments. Climate change impacts on all species, but land-based birds are particularly vulnerable to habitat loss, habitat degradation, pollution and invasive species. Sea birds are particularly vulnerable because many of them are migrant species – dependent on multiple habitats (breeding areas, and different summer and winter feeding grounds). In addition, humans (through the fishing industry) also compete with sea birds for food.

Peter stresses that conservation efforts have to take an ecosystems approach because of the multiple factors affecting birds (pollution, climate change, fishing, invasive species, etc). There have to be legislative frameworks but also behavioural changes by individuals. The control of waste and pollution into water and into the ocean is a critical issue for citizen action.

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Extinctions: Past and Present

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