Seabirds are a fantastic indicator of the health of the marine environment as they react relatively quickly to changes. By understanding changes in seabird numbers we can get early warning signs of other changes in the marine environment.
Over the winter many east coast sites have experienced high numbers of dead birds being washed ashore (known as wrecks). From January to March we received many worrying reports of dead birds (mainly Shags and Auks) being washed up on the beaches here. Most were found in an emaciated condition, perhaps reflecting the difficulty feeding during the prolonged periods of rough weather.
With sea temperatures predicted to continue rising and scientists predicting a more erratic weather pattern, it’s thought that the marine environment is likely to undergo some dramatic changes in the not too distant future. With our continued monitoring we will be keeping a careful watch on how our seabirds react to these changes.