Seabird Populations Plummeting

Researchers from the University of British Columbia examined 500 seabird populations from around the globe representing approximately 19 percent of Earth’s seabirds.

They found overall populations had collapsed by 70 percent, or 230 million birds dead over the past 60 years. Clearly, humankind is in horrible trouble.

Let me tell you why:

Overfishing, birds tangled in 13 million miles of monofilament fishing-lines with a couple billion hooks, trillions of pieces of plastic, a century of oil pollution, destruction of seabird habitat, at least 50 percent mortality of all Earth’s coral reefs and the climate crisis are vividly showing my colleagues that our natural world is crashing in front of our eyes.

When the G-20 meets in Antalya, Turkey in November, obviously it is time for them to address the shocking death of our oceans and put forward a plan to heal them because if the oceans die- we die.

But, it’s not just the ocean. Bird populations globally are in massive decline. A recent study from Australia found magpies, Willy wagtails, kookaburras and 122 other bird species across the continent are decreasing. That comes from more than 400,000 surveys around Australia.

The World Wildlife Fund warned that if we cross the 2C (3.6F) warming threshold that rates of bird extinction could be as high as 38 percent in Europe and 72 percent in northeast Australia.

In June, Stanford, Princeton and the University of California, Berkeley researchers warned that animals across Earth are disappearing at a rate of 114 times faster than normal. 

Ladies and gentlemen, we are in the midst of the “Sixth Great Mass Extinction.” Earthlings have a choice: we either change quickly the way we do business or we, too, will become extinct.

It’s crunch-time, so roll up your sleeves and together let’s save nature now! 

Earth Dr. Reese Halter’s latest book is “Shepherding the Sea: The Race to Save Our Oceans.”

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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