Scottish seabird numbers take a dive

Kittiwake Kittiwakes are one of three species of Scottish seabirds facing an almost 40% decline

Related Stories

Three types of Scottish seabirds have seen their numbers nearly halved in the past decade, according to a report.

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee study outlined a population drop of about 40% among Kittiwakes, Fulmars and Herring Gulls over the past ten years.

The committee, which advises the UK and devolved governments, said lack of food was the most likely cause due to climate change and human activity.

RSPB Scotland said it was a "worrying trend."

Rory Crawford, a policy officer with the organisation, said it was necessary to build "resilience" into seabird populations.

He said: "With the impacts of climate change becoming evident the new Scottish Marine Act needs to play a crucial role in building this resilience."

"Importantly, it promises to create marine protected areas in key locations for marine wildlife."

He added: "If this breeding season turns out to be another disastrous one for sensitive species like Kittiwakes, then it's the starkest warning yet that we must implement these new laws as a matter of urgency."

The RSPB suggested that the worst affected areas are the Northern Isles where there were breeding problems for species like the Arctic Tern and Guillemot.

Its initial figures this year from Orkney and Shetland suggested many seabirds were struggling because of a lack of sand eels - their main food-source.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Scotland stories

RSS

Features

  • chocolate cake and strawberriesTrick your tongue

    Would this dessert taste different on a black plate?


  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince George leaving New Zealand'Great ambassadors'

    How New Zealand reacted to William, Kate - and George


  • Major Power Failure ident on BBC2Going live

    Why BBC Two's launch was not all right on the night


  • Front display of radio Strange echoes

    The mysterious 'numbers stations' left over from the Cold War era


  • A letter from a Somali refugee to a Syrian child'Be a star'

    Children's uplifting letters of hope to homeless Syrians


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.