New population estimates for the Balearic shearwater: Should we let down our guard?

The Seabird Task Force is working to quantify and reduce bycatch of Balearic Shearwaters. Read Pep Arcos’ (SEO/BirdLife) blog about the critically endangered population, the trends & threats.

European Seabirds Blog

Recently the media and social networks have echoed good news for our most endangered bird species, the Balearic shearwater Puffinus mauretanicus. Indeed, a study published this year in the scientific journal Bird Conservation International points to a global population of about 25,000 birds, roughly doubling the previous estimates. The study is based on data from the Migres Programme, and consists on the census of Balearic shearwaters crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in their outward movement towards the Atlantic, after breeding. The information is consistent with another study of SEO/BirdLife, which followed a different approach (the census of birds in waters off the Iberian Mediterranean in late autumn, when the birds are back from the Atlantic. In fact, both approaches had been already published together, although the new paper provides more detail on the methodology used in the Strait of Gibraltar. The issue is also considered in…

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