The Pacific is one of the most globally significant regions for threatened seabirds. Based on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List, 85 of 103 Critically Endangered, Endangered and Vulnerable seabirds occur in the Pacific region.
From this select list and including additional seabirds from federal, state and regional lists, more than two dozen species are recognized as national priorities for conservation. Without immediate action, risk of extinction for several of these species is high. More than a century of predation, human disturbance, incidental capture in fisheries, destruction of nesting habitat, oil spills, depletion of forage stocks, invasive species and other factors have drastically reduced populations.
The overarching goals of NFWF's Pacific Seabird Program (Phase II; 2016-2021) are to reverse population declines by increasing survival and reproduction of seabirds by mitigating at-sea and colony-based threats. The program will support conservation actions that address priority threats for focal species including non-native invasive animals, habitat loss, forage depletion and incidental take in fisheries (bycatch). In addition, this program will support actions that build long-term resilience for threatened seabirds, including investments in biosecurity planning and projects that develop “high island sites” including the establishment of new seabird colonies through social attraction and translocation. The Pacific Seabird Program will also support strategic investments in information gaps for focal species that will lead to future conservation.
Priority Areas of Funding for the Pacific Seabird Program include:
- Alaskan Seabirds:
Focal species - Aleutian Tern
- Seabirds of the California Current and Mexican Islands:
Focal species - Ashy Storm Petrel, Townsend's Shearwater and Guadalupe Murrelet
- Chilean Seabirds:
Focal Species - Pink-footed Shearwater
- Hawaiian Seabirds:
Focal species - Black-footed Albatross, Hawaiian Petrel, Laysan Albatross and Newell’s Shearwater
An emerging priority under this program are the overseas U.S. islands and territories of the Western/Central Pacific that support breeding populations of seabirds identified as having national or global priority conservation needs.