The effects of overfishing and climate change are pushing many seabirds closer to extinction, according to the latest data released on Tuesday by BirdLife International.
The data by the global partnership of conservation organizations was updated for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Seabirds such as the Black-legged Kittiwake and Cape Gannet are in danger of extinction if the situation continues to worsen, the data show.
However, there is also hope, with Dalmatian Pelicans in Europe recovering thanks to artificial nesting rafts and disturbance prevention. In New Zealand, where two species of kiwi are now less threatened due to dedicated control of predators, egg rearing, and community work.
Meanwhile, many birds nesting on land are also struggling.
It is getting harder and harder for the Snowy Owl to find food in the North American Arctic. Yellow-breasted Bunting could soon go extinct if illegal trapping is not halted, according to BirdLife.
The Kea is also threatened by predation from introduced mammals. Tourists in New Zealand are feeding junk food to the inquisitive parrots, which is a factor preventing successful conservation.
“Birds are well studied and great indicators of the health of the wider environment,” said Ian Burfield, global science coordinator of BirdLife International. “A species at higher risk of extinction is a worrying alarm call that action needs to be taken now.”
Thankfully, success in kiwi and pelican conservation shows that, when well resourced and supported, “conservation efforts really do pay off,” Burfield added.