Turning the tide for seabirds: little known and extremely endangered.

Seabirds are exquisitely adapted to life on the ocean. From Laysan Albatross to Black-capped Petrel and Pink-footed Shearwater, most seabirds spend a large part of their lives over the open water, far from human habitation. As a result, marine birds are among the least understood of all birds. As a group, seabirds are among the most endangered birds in the world. For example, 15 of 22 species of albatross are threatened with extinction.

These remarkable birds deserve our every effort to conserve them. Many seabirds, like Laysan Albatross, mate for life and live 60 years or more. Some, like the Pink-footed Shearwater, cross the equator in their yearly travels. Sadly, few of these birds reach such old age. Fisheries bycatch, feral cats and other invasive species, and impacts of climate change are among the threats ABC's Seabirds Program is fighting to ensure a future for marine birds.

We work to protect seabirds through direct conservation, outreach, and policy work.


A new predator-proof fence supported by ABC safeguards seven acres within Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge in Hawai’i. The enclosed area will provide a safe habitat for new populations of seabirds like Hawaiian Petrel and Newell’s Shearwater. (Photo: Jessica Behnke) In 2015, the first ten Hawaiian Petrels were moved to imprint on the protected area (see video: Hawaiian Petrels Journey to Safety).

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A new technique is reducing fisheries’ impacts to Waved Albatross and other birds by reducing the time fishing lines are exposed in the water, where they attract and hook seabirds. This simple apparatus in now being used in the small boat artisanal hake fisheries in Ecuador. (Photo: Matt Tilghman) Read more.

Via a satellite tracking effort of rare Black-capped Petrels, we have recorded never-before-seen migratory movements. This effort with partners will help us better understand the needs of this globally endangered species that nests in the remote mountaintops of Haiti and the Dominican Republic. (Photo: Tazio Taveres) Read more.

To save the Pink-footed Shearwater, we are seeking solutions on remote Chilean islands with partners Oikonos and Chile’s Corporación Nacional Forestal (CONAF). Together, we are building local capacity to protect shearwaters from poaching, invasive predators, and the threat of fisheries bycatch. (Photo: Glen Tepke)