Why are gulls of con­ser­va­tion con­cern?

BBC Wildlife Magazine - - Our World - Mike Toms

AThough ur­ban breed­ing pop­u­la­tions of both her­ring gull and lesser black-backed gull seem to be in­creas­ing, num­bers at ru­ral and coastal breed­ing colonies are in sharp de­cline. Yet rather than sim­ply mov­ing from coast to city, data from mon­i­tor­ing pro­grammes in­di­cate that national pop­u­la­tions have de­clined. Her­ring gull num­bers are thought to be at their low­est since counts be­gan in the late 1960s, hence it ap­pears on the red list of birds of con­ser­va­tion con­cern; the lesser black-backed gull is on the am­ber list. Once data from the lat­est gull sur­vey, due for com­ple­tion in 2019, are an­a­lysed we will have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of how gull pop­u­la­tions are chang­ing in dif­fer­ent parts of their ranges.

There might seem to be too many lesser black-backed gulls in cities, but num­bers are fall­ing na­tion­wide.

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