Though seabirds make up only 3.5% of the world’s bird species, a new study by BirdLife International has found they’re the most threatened group of birds on the planet.
Of the 346 seabird species, including albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters and storm-petrels, half are in decline. More than half of those (28% total) are at the highest risk level.
Albatrosses could well be the first to disappear. 17 of the 22 species of albatross are threatened with extinction.
These threats are induced by humans. With some effort we could fix them. For example, some of the breeding colonies have been saved through island rat eradication efforts.
I’ve never seen an albatross but I know the world would be a poorer place without them.
(photo of the critically endangered Amsterdam Albatross by Vincent Legendre on Wikimedia Commons. Click on the photo to see its original)