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Seabirds face a range of threats, both on land and at sea. Consequently, a high proportion of seabirds worldwide, are currently threatened. This paper reviews the principal threatening processes that affect seabirds in New South Wales. Thirteen of the fourteen species of threatened seabirds that breed in NSW do so only on offshore islands. Nesting habitat on many of these islands has been lost or degraded by introduced mammals such as the European Rabbit Oryctolagus cuniculus, and by invasive weeds such as Kikuyu Grass Pennisetum clandestinum. Predation of eggs, chicks and adults by introduced mammalian predators, particularly the Black Rat Rattus rattus, is the most significant threat that NSW seabirds face while on land. Small species—those weighing less than 600 g—are particularly at risk. At sea, the most potentially damaging threats are currently longline fishing and plastic ingestion. Throughout the oceans of the world, tens of thousands of seabirds are accidentally killed on longlines each year. Mitigation measures are effective for surface-feeding species, such as albatrosses and giant petrels, but are less effective for deep-diving species, such as shearwaters. Significant numbers of seabirds (primarily the Flesh-footed Shearwater) are caught by the domestic longline tuna fishery operating off eastern Australia. Plastic ingestion has a range of lethal and sublethal consequences for seabirds, and the Flesh-footed Shearwater appears particularly to be at risk. There is uncertainty regarding the extent and impact of many threats. This, together with the lack of basic ecological information for many species, currently precludes the development of effective conservation strategies for seabirds in NSW. The current out-of-sight-out-of-mind attitude to the problem must change. Research and conservation action are needed urgently, particularly for species like the Flesh-footed Shearwater that are known to be at risk.

Azzarello, M. Y. and Van Vleet, E. S. 1987. Marine birds and plastic pollution. Marine Ecology Progress Series 37: 295-303.
Baker, G. B., Gales, R., Hamilton, S. and Wilkinson, V. 2002. Albatrosses and petrels in Australia: a review of their conservation and management. Emu 102: 71-97.
BirdLife International 2000 Threatened Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge.
Bradley, J. S., Wooller, R. D. and Skira, I. J. 1995. The relationship of pair-bond formation and duration to reproductive success in short-tailed shearwaters Puffinus tenuirostris.Journal of Animal Ecology 64: 31-38.
Brothers, N. 1991. Albatross mortality and associated bait loss in the Japanese Longline fishery in the Southern Ocean. Biological Conservation 5: 255-268.
Brothers, N. P., Cooper, J. and Lokkeborg, S. 1999. The incidental catch of seabirds by longline fisheries: worldwide review and technical guidelines for mitigation. FAO Fisheries Circular no. 937. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.
Colton, J. B., Knapp, F. D. and Burns, B. R. 1974. Plastic particles in surface waters of the northwestern Atlantic. Science 185: 491-497.
Croxall, J. P., Rothery, P., Pickering, S. P. C. and Prince, P. A. 1990. Reproductive performance, recruitment and survival of wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans at Bird Island, South Georgia. Journal of Animal Ecology 59: 775-796.
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia 2002. Seabird Interactions with fisheries in the Australian Fishing Zone. National plan of action for reducing the incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries: assessment report. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia, Canberra.
Environment Australia 1998. Threat abatement plan for the incidental catch (or bycatch) of seabirds during oceanic longline fishing operations. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia, Canberra.
Furness, R. W. 1985. Plastic particle pollution: accumulation by Procellariiform seabirds at Scottish colonies. Marine Pollution Bulletin 16: 103-106.
Garnett, S. and Crowley, G. M. 2000 The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000. Environment Australia, Canberra.
Gaston, A. J. 2001. Taxonomy and conservation: thoughts on the latest Birdlife International listings for seabirds. Marine Ornithology 29: 1-6.
Harper, P. C. 1987. Feeding behaviour and other notes on 20 species of Procellariiformes at sea. Notornis 34: 169-192.
Hays, H. and Cormons, G. 1974. Plastic particles found in tern pellets on coastal beaches and at factory sites. Marine Pollution Bulletin 5: 44-46.
Hedd, A., Gales, R., Brothers, N. and Robertson, G. 1998. Diving behaviour of the shy albatross Diomedea cauta in Tasmania: initial findings and dive recorder assessment. Ibis 139: 452-460.
Hindwood, K. A. 1940. The birds of Lord Howe Island. Emu 40: 1-86.
Hindwood, K. A. and Cunningham, J. M. 1950. Notes on the birds of Lord Howe Island. Emu 50: 23-35.
Hunt, G. L. and Schneider, D. C. 1987. Scale-dependent processes in the physical and biological environment of marine birds. Pp. 7-41 in Seabird Feeding Ecology and Role in Marine Ecosystems edited by J. P. Croxall. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Jouventin, P., Lequette, B. and Dobson, F. S. 1999. Age-related mate choice in the wandering albatross. Animal Behaviour 57: 1099-1106.
Klaer, N. and Polacheck, T. 1997. Bycatch of albatrosses and other seabirds by Japanese longline fishing vessels in the Australian Fishing Zone from April 1992 to March 1995. Emu 97: 150-167.
Marchant, S. and Higgins, P. J. 1990 Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 1: Ratites to Ducks. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Mauchline, J. 1980. The biology of mysids and euphausiids. Advances in Marine Biology 18: 1-681.
Murray, T. E., Bartle, J. A., Kalish, S. R. and Taylor, P. R. 1993. Incidental capture of seabirds by Japanese Southern Bluefin Tuna longline vessels in New Zealand waters, 1988-1992. Bird Conservation International 3: 181-210.
Peakall, D. B. 1970. p,p'DDT: effect on Ca metabolism and concentration of estradiol in the blood. Science 168: 592-594.
Priddel, D. and Carlile, N. 1995. Mortality of adult Gould's Petrels Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera at the nesting site on Cabbage Tree Island, New South Wales. Emu 95: 259-264.
Priddel, D., Carlile, N. and Wheeler, R. 2000. Eradication of European rabbits ( Oryctolagus cuniculus) from Cabbage Tree Island, NSW, Australia, to protect the breeding habitat of Gould's petrel ( Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera). Biological Conservation 94: 115-125.
Raymont, J. E. G. 1983 Plankton and Productivity in the Oceans. Zooplankton, Vol 2, 2nd Edition. Pergamon Press, New York.
Ross, G. J. B., Weaver, K. and Grieg, J. C. 1996. The status of Australia's seabirds: proceedings of the National Seabird Workshop, Canberra 1-2 November 1993. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia, Canberra.
Ryan, P. G. and Moloney, C. L. 1988. Effect of trawling on bird and seal distributions in the southern Benguela Current. Marine Ecology Progress Series 45: 1-11.
Saunders, A. and Brown, D. 2001. An assessment of the feasibility of eradicating rodents from the Lord Howe Island Group. A report to the Lord Howe Island Board. Endangered Species Recovery Council, Hamilton.
Schreiber, E. A. and Burger, J. (Eds) 2002 Biology of Marine Birds. CRC Press: Boca Raton.
Sturkie, P. D. 1965 Avian Physiology. Cornell University Press, New York.
Taylor, G. A. 2000. Action plan for seabird conservation in New Zealand. Part B: non-threatened seabirds. Threatened species occasional publication no. 17. Department of Conservation, Biodiversity Recovery Unit, Wellington.
Tickell, W. L. N. 2000 Albatrosses. Yale University Press, New Haven.
Veitch, C. R. 1995. Habitat repair: a necessary prerequisite to translocation of threatened birds. Pp. 97-104 in Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna edited by M. Serena. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.
Veitch, C. R. and Bell, B. D. 1990. Eradication of introduced mammals from the islands of New Zealand. Pp. 137-146 in Ecological Restoration of New Zealand Islands edited by D. R. Towns, C. H. Daugherty and I. A. E. Atkinson. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
Warham, J. 1990 The Petrels: Their Ecology and Breeding Systems. Academic Press, London.
Warham, J. 1996 The Behaviour, Population Biology and Physiology of the Petrels. Academic Press, London.
Weimerskirch, H. and Cherel, Y. 1998. Feeding ecology of short-tailed shearwaters: breeding in Tasmania and foraging in the Antarctic? Marine Ecology Progress Series 167: 261-274.
Weimerskirch, H. and Sagar, P. M. 1996. Diving depths of sooty shearwaters Puffinus griseus.Ibis 138: 786-794.
Werren, G. L. and Clough, A. R. 1991. Effect of rabbit browsing on littoral rainforest, Cabbage Tree Island, New South Wales - with special reference to the status of the Gould's petrel. Pp. 257-277 in The Rainforest Legacy: Australian National Rainforests Study, Vol. 2 - Flora and Fauna of the Rainforests edited by G. Werren and P. Kershaw. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
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References

Azzarello, M. Y. and Van Vleet, E. S. 1987. Marine birds and plastic pollution. Marine Ecology Progress Series 37: 295-303.
Baker, G. B., Gales, R., Hamilton, S. and Wilkinson, V. 2002. Albatrosses and petrels in Australia: a review of their conservation and management. Emu 102: 71-97.
BirdLife International 2000 Threatened Birds of the World. Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, Barcelona and Cambridge.
Bradley, J. S., Wooller, R. D. and Skira, I. J. 1995. The relationship of pair-bond formation and duration to reproductive success in short-tailed shearwaters Puffinus tenuirostris.Journal of Animal Ecology 64: 31-38.
Brothers, N. 1991. Albatross mortality and associated bait loss in the Japanese Longline fishery in the Southern Ocean. Biological Conservation 5: 255-268.
Brothers, N. P., Cooper, J. and Lokkeborg, S. 1999. The incidental catch of seabirds by longline fisheries: worldwide review and technical guidelines for mitigation. FAO Fisheries Circular no. 937. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.
Colton, J. B., Knapp, F. D. and Burns, B. R. 1974. Plastic particles in surface waters of the northwestern Atlantic. Science 185: 491-497.
Croxall, J. P., Rothery, P., Pickering, S. P. C. and Prince, P. A. 1990. Reproductive performance, recruitment and survival of wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans at Bird Island, South Georgia. Journal of Animal Ecology 59: 775-796.
Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia 2002. Seabird Interactions with fisheries in the Australian Fishing Zone. National plan of action for reducing the incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries: assessment report. Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry - Australia, Canberra.
Environment Australia 1998. Threat abatement plan for the incidental catch (or bycatch) of seabirds during oceanic longline fishing operations. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia, Canberra.
Furness, R. W. 1985. Plastic particle pollution: accumulation by Procellariiform seabirds at Scottish colonies. Marine Pollution Bulletin 16: 103-106.
Garnett, S. and Crowley, G. M. 2000 The Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000. Environment Australia, Canberra.
Gaston, A. J. 2001. Taxonomy and conservation: thoughts on the latest Birdlife International listings for seabirds. Marine Ornithology 29: 1-6.
Harper, P. C. 1987. Feeding behaviour and other notes on 20 species of Procellariiformes at sea. Notornis 34: 169-192.
Hays, H. and Cormons, G. 1974. Plastic particles found in tern pellets on coastal beaches and at factory sites. Marine Pollution Bulletin 5: 44-46.
Hedd, A., Gales, R., Brothers, N. and Robertson, G. 1998. Diving behaviour of the shy albatross Diomedea cauta in Tasmania: initial findings and dive recorder assessment. Ibis 139: 452-460.
Hindwood, K. A. 1940. The birds of Lord Howe Island. Emu 40: 1-86.
Hindwood, K. A. and Cunningham, J. M. 1950. Notes on the birds of Lord Howe Island. Emu 50: 23-35.
Hunt, G. L. and Schneider, D. C. 1987. Scale-dependent processes in the physical and biological environment of marine birds. Pp. 7-41 in Seabird Feeding Ecology and Role in Marine Ecosystems edited by J. P. Croxall. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.
Jouventin, P., Lequette, B. and Dobson, F. S. 1999. Age-related mate choice in the wandering albatross. Animal Behaviour 57: 1099-1106.
Klaer, N. and Polacheck, T. 1997. Bycatch of albatrosses and other seabirds by Japanese longline fishing vessels in the Australian Fishing Zone from April 1992 to March 1995. Emu 97: 150-167.
Marchant, S. and Higgins, P. J. 1990 Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds. Volume 1: Ratites to Ducks. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Mauchline, J. 1980. The biology of mysids and euphausiids. Advances in Marine Biology 18: 1-681.
Murray, T. E., Bartle, J. A., Kalish, S. R. and Taylor, P. R. 1993. Incidental capture of seabirds by Japanese Southern Bluefin Tuna longline vessels in New Zealand waters, 1988-1992. Bird Conservation International 3: 181-210.
Peakall, D. B. 1970. p,p'DDT: effect on Ca metabolism and concentration of estradiol in the blood. Science 168: 592-594.
Priddel, D. and Carlile, N. 1995. Mortality of adult Gould's Petrels Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera at the nesting site on Cabbage Tree Island, New South Wales. Emu 95: 259-264.
Priddel, D., Carlile, N. and Wheeler, R. 2000. Eradication of European rabbits ( Oryctolagus cuniculus) from Cabbage Tree Island, NSW, Australia, to protect the breeding habitat of Gould's petrel ( Pterodroma leucoptera leucoptera). Biological Conservation 94: 115-125.
Raymont, J. E. G. 1983 Plankton and Productivity in the Oceans. Zooplankton, Vol 2, 2nd Edition. Pergamon Press, New York.
Ross, G. J. B., Weaver, K. and Grieg, J. C. 1996. The status of Australia's seabirds: proceedings of the National Seabird Workshop, Canberra 1-2 November 1993. Biodiversity Group, Environment Australia, Canberra.
Ryan, P. G. and Moloney, C. L. 1988. Effect of trawling on bird and seal distributions in the southern Benguela Current. Marine Ecology Progress Series 45: 1-11.
Saunders, A. and Brown, D. 2001. An assessment of the feasibility of eradicating rodents from the Lord Howe Island Group. A report to the Lord Howe Island Board. Endangered Species Recovery Council, Hamilton.
Schreiber, E. A. and Burger, J. (Eds) 2002 Biology of Marine Birds. CRC Press: Boca Raton.
Sturkie, P. D. 1965 Avian Physiology. Cornell University Press, New York.
Taylor, G. A. 2000. Action plan for seabird conservation in New Zealand. Part B: non-threatened seabirds. Threatened species occasional publication no. 17. Department of Conservation, Biodiversity Recovery Unit, Wellington.
Tickell, W. L. N. 2000 Albatrosses. Yale University Press, New Haven.
Veitch, C. R. 1995. Habitat repair: a necessary prerequisite to translocation of threatened birds. Pp. 97-104 in Reintroduction Biology of Australian and New Zealand Fauna edited by M. Serena. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton.
Veitch, C. R. and Bell, B. D. 1990. Eradication of introduced mammals from the islands of New Zealand. Pp. 137-146 in Ecological Restoration of New Zealand Islands edited by D. R. Towns, C. H. Daugherty and I. A. E. Atkinson. Department of Conservation, Wellington.
Warham, J. 1990 The Petrels: Their Ecology and Breeding Systems. Academic Press, London.
Warham, J. 1996 The Behaviour, Population Biology and Physiology of the Petrels. Academic Press, London.
Weimerskirch, H. and Cherel, Y. 1998. Feeding ecology of short-tailed shearwaters: breeding in Tasmania and foraging in the Antarctic? Marine Ecology Progress Series 167: 261-274.
Weimerskirch, H. and Sagar, P. M. 1996. Diving depths of sooty shearwaters Puffinus griseus.Ibis 138: 786-794.
Werren, G. L. and Clough, A. R. 1991. Effect of rabbit browsing on littoral rainforest, Cabbage Tree Island, New South Wales - with special reference to the status of the Gould's petrel. Pp. 257-277 in The Rainforest Legacy: Australian National Rainforests Study, Vol. 2 - Flora and Fauna of the Rainforests edited by G. Werren and P. Kershaw. Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra.
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