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Petrels and Shearwaters - Conservation

islands york birds fishing

The introduction of non-native mammals, such as rats, pigs, dogs, and cats onto islands used by breeding seabirds has led to the large scale decimation of entire colonies. The dark-rumped petrel, for example, is now restricted to small remnant colonies on just four islands in the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador, and less than four islands in Hawaii. Other colonies were wiped out by exotic mammalian predators. Another problem faced by some species is being caught in fishing nets, or being snagged in long-lines set by fishing boats. These fishing technologies are killing huge numbers of some species of petrels and shearwaters, and is causing their populations to decrease in some regions.


Resources

Books

Ehrlich, Paul, et al. The Birder's Handbook. New York: Simon and Shuster, 1988.

Harrison, Peter. Seabirds: An Identification Guide. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1983.

Sibley, David Allen. The Sibley Guide to Birds. New York: Knopf, 2000.

Terres, John. The Audubon Encyclopedia of Birds. New York: Knopf, 1980.


Peter Sahnansohn

KEY TERMS

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Down

—Short, springy, and spread-out under-feathers on birds, which act as insulation by trapping dead air.

Macroplankton

—Larger, visible members of the free-swimming and floating organisms found in the surface waters of oceans such as shrimp, jellyfish, and copepods.

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