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60% Decline in Fulmars

The John Muir Trust has reported that fulmar populations on their Sandwood Bay Estate near Cape Wrath have plummeted by 60% in the last ten years. Only 261 nesting pairs were counted in June 2008 on cliffs which once supported over 700 pairs.

Fulmars are a key indicator sepcies for the health of the North Sea and the John Muir Trust has been counting breeding fulmars since 1997 on the same three-mile stretch of cliffs. Fulmars, one of our most common and resilient seabirds, are now in as much trouble as puffins, kittiwakes, guillemots and Arctic terns. Research by other bodies mirror the Trust’s findings found that because fulmars do not dive for sand eels their population decline is more likely affected by the dwindling whitefish fishing industry.

From Scottish Wildlife (magazine of the Scottish Wildlife Trust), Aug 2008.

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