Sooty Shearwaters

Subject: Sooty Shearwaters
From: (John Leonard)
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 1997 10:46:05 +1100 (EST)
I read this report today in this week's Guardian Weekly (a digest of the
British newspaper). It was tacked on to the end of a report about the
decline in British bird numbers due to agro-chemicals (Tree Sparrows down by
89% since 1969), and I don't know what the source is, or how accurate the
report is, but I'm just passing it on with a few parentheses for the benefit
of birding-aussers.

"....Global warming was being blamed last week for the devastation of
another of the world's most plentiful bird species [no previous reference to
another of the world's most plentiful bird species occurs in the preceding
paragraphs, by the way], the sooty shearwater [sic], which regularly flies
to Ireland and Britain from habitats in California, South America and
Australia. US scientists say that warmer seas have reduced the plankton that
forms its staple diet [?].
The findings suggest that 4 million shearwaters vanished between 1987 and
1994 [I'd love to see a shearwater vanish, ('ping'), and to see 4 million
vanish...]. Dick Viet of Washington state university [sic] said: 'This may
be the first real evidence for a major natural change as the result of
global warning.'"


Dr John Leonard
PO Box 243, Woden,

"Perhaps it is not too much to ask that we learn
to live with grace in a system that permits only
relative prediction." John F. Eisenburg


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