Author: peparcos

Spain

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


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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

20140618_CN2_3973

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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Spain

Nuevo Seabird Task Force de BirdLife en Europa: el punto de vista mediterráneo


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915_1b_MARCA WEB

[Available in English]

BirdLife International amplía su Albatros Task Force (o Grupo de Trabajo de Albatros), la iniciativa para reducir la captura accidental de aves marinas en colaboración con los pescadores, a Europa. Aquí, el llamado Seabird Task Force (o Grupo de Trabajo de Aves Marinas) se forma inicialmente en dos zonas de especial preocupación en cuanto a capturas accidentales, Lituania (donde miles de patos marinos y otras aves buceadoras quedan enredadas en redes de fondo) y el Mediterráneo español. Las razones para priorizar esta última zona merecen una explicación más detallada.

España cuenta con una gran diversidad de aves marinas, con más de 40 especies de ocurrencia regular, más de 20 de las cuales son reproductoras, repartidas en tres regiones geográficas distintas: la Macaronesia, el Atlántico europeo y el Mediterráneo. De ellas, el Mediterráneo acoge una elevada diversidad de especies, muchas de ellas prioritarias desde el punto de vista de la conservación, debido a que cuentan con poblaciones relativamente pequeñas y de distribución restringida (muchas son endémicas del Mediterráneo).  Por otra parte, la región mediterránea está altamente poblada, lo que se traduce en una elevada presión humana que afecta a las aves marinas de varias maneras: degradación del hábitat asociado al desarrollo costero, presencia de depredadores introducidos en las colonias de cría, contaminación, sobreexplotación pesquera, etc. Entre estas amenazas, las capturas accidentales representan una de las más graves para algunas especies.

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Spain

New Seabird Task Force to address bycatch in Europe: the Mediterranean point of view


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915_1b_MARCA WEB

 

[Disponible en español]

BirdLife International is extending its Albatros Task Force, the initiative to reduce seabird bycatch in collaboration with fishermen, to Europe. Here, the so called Seabird Task Force starts at two bycatch hotspots, Lithuania and the Spanish Mediterranean. Reasons to prioritise this latter area deserve some further explanation.

Spain has a wide diversity of seabirds, with over 40 regular species, more than 20 of them breeding, spread across three distinct geographical regions: the Macaronesia, the European Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Of these, the Mediterranean hosts smaller seabird numbers, but a relatively high diversity of species, many of them of conservation concern precisely due to their tiny populations, as well as restricted distribution ranges. Moreover, the Mediterranean region is highly populated and therefore supports high human pressure, which affects seabirds in several ways: coastal development, introduced predators, pollution, fisheries overexploitation, etc. Among these, bycatch appears to be one of the most serious threats for some species.

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