Seabirds can’t help but pursue fishing boats, with their bait and the promise of a tasty and easily caught meal. But they often get too close, accidentally getting hooked or entangled in fishing gear, and then helplessly drown.
Invasive rats and cats eating seabird eggs and chicks, accidental entanglement in fish gear, exotic plants changing island ecology…just some of the things SPEA (BirdLife Portugal) has been battling to try and save seabirds.
Seabirds across Europe are in trouble and lines on maps will not bring them back alone. But effective management of protected areas can give them a fighting chance to claw, peck and soar their way back up the slippery slope…away from extinction.
Our seas are becoming warmer and acidified, extreme weather events are whipping them into a turbulent frenzy. European seabirds are in trouble, but Natura 2000 may offer a much needed haven to help them cope with this onslaught.