State of the Birds 2010 Report Highlights Vulnerability of Oceanic, Hawaiian Birds
Oceanic birds such as albatrosses, petrels, tropical terns, tropicbirds, and frigatebirds are vulnerable because of their low reproductive potential, use of islands for nesting, and reliance on rapidly changing marine ecosystems. Seabirds are in danger of losing their breeding habitat as sea levels rise. For example, on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, home to the largest albatross colony in the world, as much as 40 percent of the land mass may disappear if sea levels were to rise as much as 6 feet. Warmer temperatures and changing wind patterns are predicted to affect the movement of ocean waters, which can significantly alter ocean productivity and food webs for these oceanic species.
Hawaiian forest birds are increasingly challenged by mosquito-borne diseases and invasive species as climate change alters their native habitats. Among the 42 native and endemic bird species of the Hawaiian Islands, only one (the 'auku'u or black-crowned night-heron) is not considered of conservation concern.
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