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State of the Birds Report

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Laysan Albatross by Eduardo


The 42 Watch List seabird species face acute and chronic impacts from fishing operations that deplete stocks of prey, offshore wind development, oil contamination, and plastic pollution. Climate change will also alter the food resources of fish populations that are prey for seabirds, as well as cause extensive loss of low-elevation breeding habitat.

In the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, nesting populations of Laysan and Black-footed albatrosses are threatened by rising sea levels. Ocean swells are already impacting Hawaiian seabirds. In 2011 swells from winter storms and a tsunami killed about 110,000 albatross chicks.

Conserving nesting habitat above predicted future sea levels will be important for albatrosses. Some Laysan Albatross colonies are already using higher habitat on the Hawaiian islands of Oahu and Kauai.


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