Catastrophic World Seabird Population Decline Reflected Around Celtic Coasts

Conservation action is urgently needed to stem the dramatic decline in seabird populations. That is the conclusion after Canadian University of British Columbia (UCB) research shows that the world’s monitored seabird populations have dropped by 70 per cent since the 1950s. A UCB media release highlights the study of the Sea Around Us project and a report written on seabird population trends. They have compiled information on more than 500 seabird populations from around the world, representing 19 per cent of the global seabird population. They found overall populations had declined by 69.6 per cent, equivalent to a loss of about 230 million birds in 60 years. Phil Taylor, seabird recovery officer for RSPB Scotland has said that “The general trend is echoed here in Scotland..."
The international report points to climate change, overfishing, pollution from plastics and oil, and the introduction of non-native predators as factors in the steep decline. The researchers have warned the results are a stark indication of the dismal state of the world’s oceans and the effect humans are having on the planet. Lead researcher Michelle Paleczny, from Canada’s University of British Columbia states that “Seabirds are particularly good indicators of the health of marine ecosystems. “ He went to say that  “Our work demonstrates the strong need for increased seabird conservation effort internationally. Loss of seabirds causes a variety of impacts in coastal and marine ecosystems.”
The depressing statistics about seabird decline point to an environmental problem that is exacerbated by a world population growing to an unsustainable degree. A completely different global economic approach needs to be adopted that incorporates sustainability at its core. This necessitates the setting of optimum population levels and the eradication of poverty. A recent report by the Population Institute on Demographic Vulnerability points to many of the factors driving population increases and where it poses the most challenges. World population is projected to increase from 7.3 billion today to 9.6 billion or more by 2050. Unless the issue of population growth is tackled then poverty and environmental destruction will continue.
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