U.K. Seabird Breeding Failures a Concern

LONDON, Oct. 19 (UPI) — Breeding among some species of seabirds has been “terrible” in some parts of the northern British Isles, a conservation group says.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Scotland, said 700 Arctic terns on the Shetland island of Mousa at the start of the breeding season failed to produce a single chick, the BBC reported Tuesday.

The situation was “similarly miserable” on Orkney, the organization said. Just two kittiwakes were reported to have returned to Orkney’s North Hill reserve to breed and not a single chick was born, it said.

“The terrible season for critical colonies in the far north warns us that seabird populations remain in real danger,” society spokesman Doug Gilbert said.

An addition to conservation concerns, the group says research shows the seabirds are valuable to rural economies for the tourists they attract.

There were some species doing well, however, such as gannets, the society said.

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