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Posted Thu Jan 7 2010: from Highland News (UK):
Seabird decline is a disturbing trend
In many cases it seems there were so many birds that nothing could possibly adversely affect their numbers or breeding success. The drastic declines have been put down to a number of reasons, each with their supporters. The latest is the global warning issue which is in vogue these days. Amongst the many spin-offs, it has been blamed for the absence of sand eels in any numbers. The catastrophe this has caused with puffin chicks, amongst others, starving to death has been one of the more dramatic turn of events. However, there have been, and are, others with whole colonies of kittiwakes unable to produce any young to the flying stage and in many cases not even laying any eggs at all. The role of the piratical great skuas that have actually increased in numbers for several years also came to a head. These large, strong seabirds used to force other birds to give up their food but in recent years they have started eating the young of other birds, the adults and even the young of their own species. The increase in grey seals has also been highlighted by many, as has the invasion of rats to many colonies. Of course, nobody would dream of blaming us for over-fishing, despite it being the scandal of all time.
[Read more stories about: bird collapse, ecosystem interrelationships, massive die-off]

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'Doc Jim says:
Seabirds may just need to constrain their expectations.

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