Tasmanian Seabird Numbers Break Record

Tasmanian Seabird Numbers Break Record Tasmanian Seabird Numbers Break Record

Seagulls have hit record numbers in Australia's Tasmania island state, baffling ornithologists and animal watchers who also highlighted the birds' changing food supply and nesting areas, latest conservation group figures showed. All major gull species in the southern state's southeast area have increased significantly, with a nearly 200% rise in Pacific gulls from last year's numbers to surpass 1,000 birds, according to bird conservation group Birdlife Tasmania's annual winter gull count, Xinhua reported. The exact cause of the record number of seabirds, some of which can live for 30 years, was not known, the group's Eric Woehler told local media. "Every year the gulls surprise us ... The different species respond differently to the environment," the ABC radio channel in state capital Hobart quoted him as saying. The seabirds were also shifting away from dwindling food sources scavenged from rubbish dumps to feed in other spots including fish farms in water channels, said Woehler. Seagull nesting areas were similarly changing amid their rising numbers. Tasmania's winter gull count is touted as the country's longest-running survey of its kind, with the birds tracked since 1980.


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