The following is an excerpt from Teresa Militão | September 28, 2018 | BBC.com |
You may not have heard of pelagic birds before, but you will be familiar with several members of the family.
Albatross, frigate birds, petrels, puffins, boobies and even penguins are all kinds of pelagic seabirds and what this means is that they spend a significant portion of their lives at sea. Relying on marine prey for food, pelagic birds only come to land to breed.
They are often found hundreds, if not thousands, of miles offshore enduring colossal storms. It’s impossible not to immediately fall in love with them once you see a seabird “surfing” on the wind on a stormy day.
Unfortunately, these birds have suffered huge population decline over the recent decades due to threats on land (such as introduced predators) and at sea (such as accidental mortality in some fishing gears, notably longlining, and the collapse in some fisheries). To stop these declines, we need to learn about their basic biology, which areas they use year-round and identify the main threats in each of these areas. However, this information is often lacking, particularly in species breeding in difficult to access places.
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