Balearic shearwaters and global warming

This is a Balearic shearwater video.

From BirdLife:

Balearics moving north


Balearic Shearwaters Puffinus mauretanicus, the only Critically Endangered species regularly to visit the United Kingdom, are appearing there in ever greater numbers, but it may not be good news.

“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.

“More than a hundred were recorded off Berry Head in South Devon in just one day this month – which is a significant proportion of the world population,” said RSPB Conservation Officer, Helen Booker.

9 thoughts on “Balearic shearwaters and global warming

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