Overfishing has meant that one of the gulls’ favourite fish species, the highly nutritious eulachon, is now considered threatened in the Salish Sea area. Another former staple, the Pacific herring, no longer forms the large aggregations that gulls once feasted on.
SeaDoc recently published a study about population declines in diving birds. This study linked the highest risk of population decline to birds with very specific diets involving forage fish like eulachon and herring.
In the article, Joe Gaydos is quoted: “[Gull] populations should not decline as quickly as specialist feeders. The fact that generalists like gulls could be in decline is definitely worrisome.”
Read the article, which has a link to the published paper.
Photo by Jerry Kirkhart via Flickr CC