Seabirds and Marine - Europe and Central Asia

What are seabirds?

Seabirds are those species that have adapted to the marine environment, and so spend most of their lives feeding at sea or by the coast. They can be found all over the world, from the Arctic to the Antarctic. There are 82 species of seabirds in Europe

Some European seabirds can live up to more than 40 years. Some, such as the Guillemot, can dive up to 200 metres underwater to find their food. How do we know all this? Read about the science of seabirds in Europe here.

Why do they need our help?

Imagine the ocean. What do you see? What do you hear? Would it not feel empty without seabirds? Seabirds are not just part of the scenery, they are an integral part of the ocean ecosystem.

Unfortunately, seabirds are one of the most threatened groups of birds in the world: they are in danger from marine litter, climate change, invasive alien species and overfishing. Many of them even wind up as bycatch on fishing vessels. Read about some of the key threats to seabirds in the European Union here.

What BirdLife is doing to protect them

BirdLife is at the forefront of efforts to understand and tackle the threats to seabirds. Through our local expertise, we are responsible for delivering the IUCN Red List, the list of the most threatened species in the world. The BirdLife partnership not only monitors and collects data in the marine environment, but also restores habitats to stabilise populations of seabirds at risk. Read about our international projects and local conservation actions.

BirdLife Europe has also launched the Seabird Task Force, a trained group of seabird bycatch mitigation experts who work alongside fishermen to develop and adapt cost effective solutions to the problem.


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