As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

New Zealand the most perilous place for seabirds due to plastic pollution

‘Seabird capital of the world’ is home to dozens of endemic species, which are particularly vulnerable to plastics

Eleanor Ainge Roy in Dunedin
Mon 2 Jul 2018 07.18 BSTFirst published on Mon 2 Jul 201806.40 BST

Seabirds are more at risk of dying due to plastic in New Zealand than anywhere else in the world, new research presented to parliament has shown.

New Zealand is considered “the seabird capital of the world”, according to the country’s Department of Conservation, with the northern royal albatross raising their chicks on the Otago Peninsula, unique species of oystercatchers on the Chatham Islands and more penguin species than any country in the world.

There are 36 seabird species that breed only in New Zealand. Mexico is a distant second with just five. More than a third of all seabird species are known to spend time in New Zealand’s waters.

Karen Baird from conservation group Forest & Bird, which produced the report, said: “Rubbish that ends up in our seas has a far worse effect on seabird species than anywhere else in the world.”

“Even though we don’t have the most plastic pollution, we are unique in the world in having so many seabirds species. We also have the most threatened seabird species, many of which are found nowhere else.”

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