Balearics moving north
“Many people believe that because Balearic Shearwaters nest in the Mediterranean, they must love warmth.
However, they leave the Mediterranean in mid summer and head north through the Bay of Biscay towards relatively cool British waters.
They are cold-water specialists, but with climate change warming the oceans, the seas are becoming less productive, and we believe birds are moving ever further north to find sufficient food,” explains Carles Carboneras, a seabird expert with SEO/BirdLife, the BirdLife partner in Spain.
Balearic Shearwaters nest on just five islands in the western Mediterranean, where they are threatened by introduced predators and tourism development.
At sea, they are regular victims of longline fishing activities, especially deep-water lines set for hake.
In 1991 there were an estimated 3,300 breeding pairs, but it is believed the population has decreased by more than a third since then.
The RSPB, the BirdLife Partner in the UK, is to launch a pilot study, gathering information from birdwatchers on numbers of Balearic Shearwaters observed during land-based seawatches.
- Tubenosed seabirds that shear the waves: of Calonectris, Lugensa, and Puffinus (petrels part VII) (blogs.scientificamerican.com)
- Scilly islands sea bird news (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Christmas in the Balearics (adventuresofacarryon.com)
- Marine Conservation Zones: the picture for Cornwall (whatswildincornwall.wordpress.com)
- Mystery ‘tide of death’ threat to rare seabird (express.co.uk)
- Invasion of feral cats could see the end of a seabird endemic to the Mediterranean (scooprocket.com)
- Life through a burrowscope lens – subterranean Titi Island (tepapa.govt.nz)