Audouin’s Gull and fishing lines

During the regular field work at the colony of Audouin’s Gull (Larus audouinii) up to 5 breeding adults were found entangled with fishing lines. They were released from the lines and taken to the Wildlife Recovery Center of El Valle. Unfortunately, one of them arrived already dead. In addition, an adult Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei) was also rescued. This species does not breed in San Pedro but is common to see them foraging in the saltpans.

Audouin’s Gull entangled with recreational fishing lines at the colony of San Pedro saltpans.

It should be noted that the hooks and lines found were not coming from commercial fisheries but from recreational fishing and have caused the loss of 1.2% of breeding pairs at the colony. Many seabirds are victims of fishing gear when swallowing hooks in the sea. The problem is even greater when the breeding season begins and the colonies are formed, leaving the lines stuck in the shrubs.

Two technitians of the Life SALINAS team release one of the Audouin’s Gull trapped.

The problem could have been even greater if we would have not removed these birds. In Audouin’s Gull colonies, nest density is very high so neighbors are very close to each other and consequently, increasing the risk of entanglement with a fishing line. The colony has been visited almost weekly which has allowed us to act and take the affected animals to the rescue center.

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