Seabirds

If El Niños Happen Twice as Often in the Future, What Happens to Seabirds?

May 07, 2018

A modeling study from UC Davis researchers in the Department of Wildlife Fish and Conservation Biology addresses the impacts of more frequent El Niño events on seabirds and some fish species. The model was specifically chosen for its sensitivity to environmental changes. Scientists noticed unanticipated changes in the Brandt’s cormorant population with increasing and decreasing the frequency of the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. 

Why Do Seabirds Eat Plastic? The Answer Stinks 

November 09, 2016

If it smells like food, and looks like food, it must be food right?

Not in the case of ocean-faring birds that are sometimes found with bellies full of plastic. But very little research examines why birds make the mistake of eating plastic in the first place.

To learn exactly what marine plastic debris smells like, the scientists put beads made of the three most common types of plastics debris --- high-desnty polyethylene, low-density polyethylene, and poly-propylene--- into the ocean at Monterey Bay and Bodega Bay, off the California coast.