Ecosystem overviews

Oceanic Northeast Atlantic Ecosystem Overview

State of the ecosystem: Seabirds

​​​​​There are no nesting sites for seabirds within the ecoregion. However, tracking data and direct observations suggest that the ecoregion is an important area for seabirds during all seasons.

​​Several petrel species forage in the area during the breeding season, including Northern fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) from Scotland, Iceland, and the Faroes, the rare and endangered Zino's petrel (Pterodroma madeira) from Madeira, Bermuda petrel (Pterodroma cahow) and Audubon's shearwater (Puffinus lherminieri baroli) from the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands. Many other species migrate through or winter in the ecoregion in large numbers, both Northern hemisphere breeders such as black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica), and little auk (Alle alle), and Southern hemisphere breeders such as great shearwater (Ardenna gravis) and sooty shearwater (A. grisea). 

BirdLife International has identified, on the basis of tracking data, three “Important Bird Areas" in the southern parts of the ecoregion. These fall within a larger area covering more than 600 000 km2 that OSPAR is considering as an MPA. Trends based on nesting sites suggest many breeding seabird species in the North Atlantic are declining, although a few such as Northern gannets (Morus bassanus) have increased.​

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Oceanic Northeast Atlantic Ecosystem Overview

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