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State of the Birds 2010 Report Highlights Vulnerability of Oceanic, Hawaiian Birds

Photo of Albatross landing Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar released a new "State of the Birds" report for 2010 highlighting the vulnerability of migratory birds to climate change.  Among those most vulnerable are the oceanic birds and island birds such as those in Hawai'i
Laysan Albatross coming in for a landing at Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge. Midway Atoll NWR hosts the largest colony of Laysan albatross in the world.
Photo credit: Robert Shallenberger

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.

State of the Birds Report - 2010 Report on Climate Change

News Release - Secretary Salazar Releases New “State of the Birds” Report Showing Climate Change Threatens Hundreds of Species
Last updated: September 20, 2012
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