Diving birds at risk due to decline in fish stocks in Puget Sound


Birds that dive for fish while wintering in the Salish Sea, located between British Columbia and Washington, are more likely to be in decline than nondiving birds with less specialized diets, according to a study led by the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis.

Diving birds were 11 times more likely to be in decline than nondiving birds, according to the study, published in the journal Conservation Biology. Also, populations of diving birds that rely on forage fish, such as Pacific herring, are 16 times more likely to decline than those with more varied diets.

The study lends credence to what scientists have long suspected: “If you want to recover birds, you need to recover the food that they’re eating,” said co-author Joe Gaydos, a UC Davis wildlife veterinarian and director of the SeaDoc Society, a program of the UC Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center. “This could help puffins, western grebes, common murres and other diving species recover.”

Wildlife agencies from the U.S. and Canada have separately monitored wintering marine birds in the Salish Sea. Yet birds living there do not recognize its borders. So UC Davis Wildlife Health Center scientists combined 17 years of wintering bird Continue Reading…

Via-: Sciworthy News