Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Seabirds decline in Pacific Northwest

More bad news for ocean birds. Recent counts show major declines for some important species compared to 30 years ago.

It was perfectly normal to go out to the bay and see several thousand Western grebes on the shores," scientist John Bower said. But the recent study found a one-day average of 10 Western grebes on Padilla Bay and 436 on Bellingham Bay, Bower said. Now "they just aren't around," he said.

The study seems to confirm earlier results from bird counts by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, but this time the birds were counted from the ground, not in the air.

David Nysewander, a Fish and Wildlife project leader who assesses marine birds on Puget Sound, said he wasn't surprised by the study results, but he says a lack of money prevents his department from doing much about it.

Birds dying here, birds dying there, ocean troubles everywhere?!

No comments: