For many years I’ve been noticing the declining number of sea birds seen at beaches near Port Townsend. Now it appears that we are getting some science behind what I’ve been seeing.
The number of at-risk species in the Salish Sea is growing at an annual rate of nearly 3 percent, according to a new report that’s giving a boost to the idea of greater cross-border coordination on conservation efforts in the shared waters of Washington and British Columbia. The report, released by the SeaDoc Society last month, indicates that ecosystem degradation is outpacing recovery efforts across the 6,900- square-mile Salish Sea, which includes Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia…. The report identifies 12 Salish Sea species that have been added to Canadian and U.S. at-risk lists since 2013. These new “species of concern” include the Pacific lamprey and longfin smelt, a forage fish that serves as an important food source for marine predators. Seven birds were added: black scoter, black-legged kittiwake, long-billed dowitcher, eared grebe, parasitic jaeger, pectoral sandpiper and the semipalmated sandpiper. Tristan Baurick reports. (Kitsap Sun)