Migratory Bird Management
seabirds nest far from cities and factories, which has protected them from many
problems. However, the modern world still puts pressure on birds in Alaska. The
Fish and Wildlife Service works to keep a balance between humans and seabirds.
Some examples of problems in Alaska are:
- Oil pollution can
kill seabirds. Oil coats the birds' feathers, which can no longer keep cold water
away from their skin. Most people know about the Exxon Valdez, which spilled 11 million gallons of oil in Prince William Sound
in 1989. Other small oil spills are quite common, and they sometimes kill birds
- People can disturb birds by walking or making noise near
their nesting colonies. Seabirds are frightened easily, and they can hurt their
young chicks if they fly away in a hurry.
- Introduced enemies like
foxes or rats can get onto seabird islands. Birds have no defenses against new
predators. Foxes and rats will kill and eat the birds or their young, which can
be very dangerous for the population.
- Fishing boats catch many
of the same fish that birds eat. It is important to plan ahead so that both people
and birds can find enough fish.
- Fishing boats sometimes catch
birds in their fishing gear. Birds caught on hooks or in nets usually drown. If
fishing gear catches too many birds, their populations could start to decrease.
- Plastic trash such as six-pack rings and fishing line can get
tangled around birds and injure them.
Last Updated: September 18, 2008