Protecting Marine Birds
Dr. Caroline Fox, Program Coordinator
The highly productive waters and shores of British Columbia’s coast support an incredible diversity and density of marine life. Vast numbers of marine birds use these areas for critical activities such as breeding, foraging, wintering and migration.
It is estimated that nearly 6 million individuals from 15 or so seabird species breed locally. The coast is also a portion of the Pacific Flyway, a major corridor for millions of migratory birds traveling to and from breeding grounds in the Arctic and elsewhere in the continent. Long distance migrants that may breed elsewhere in the world, such as albatrosses and shearwaters, are found offshore in significant numbers.
Despite their multitudes, many marine bird species on our coast are of great conservation concern. Some marine bird populations are known or are suspected to be experiencing population declines. Major knowledge gaps exist for marine birds at sea, particularly during seasons other than summer and for North and Central coast waters. This lack of information is a serious conservation concern as threats to marine birds are numerous and often interactive.
British Columbia’s marine birds face the following threats:
• chronic and catastrophic oil spills
• oil extraction and development
• food supply change
• fisheries conflict
• contaminants and pollutants
• marine debris
• introduced predators
• wind turbines
• habitat loss, degradation and disturbance
• climate change
Protecting marine birds through science & advocacy
To address these knowledge gaps, Raincoast undertook extensive at-sea marine bird surveys between 2005 and 2008. We surveyed thousands of kilometers and amassed nearly 20,000 marine bird sightings with over 100,000 individuals counted in more than 70 species.
The early bird catches the herring
By Chris Genovali
Caroline Fox has been a biologist with Raincoast Conservation Foundation’s marine conservation program since 2007 and serves as Raincoast’s lead scientist for our work on marine birds…
Marine bird talk by Caroline Fox
Marine bird talk by Raincoast biologist Caroline Fox for the Victoria Natural History Society
Wednesday, October 27, 7:30 pm
Rm 159 Fraser Building UVic Campus
Raincoast at the World Seabird Conference
By Caroline Fox
The first ever World Seabird Conference was held last week in Victoria (September 7-11, 2010). Over 800 participants from over 40 countries gathered…