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The Oily Truth

The auks, particularly razorbills and guillemots, are the seabirds most seriously affected by oil pollution, probably because they spend more time on the water than gulls or cormorants which feed at sea but return to land to roost. The auks are also more likely to dive when in trouble, so collect more oil on their feathers. Regular oil spillages over the last 30 years or so have probably been gradually decreasing their numbers.

Another problem which has come to light recently is starvation. Razorbills, guillemots and puffins have been dying in their hundreds, unable to find sufficient fish to sustain them through the winter. It seems that overfishing of the North Sea waters by man is depriving the birds of their natural prey.

Source: Young People’s Trust For The Environment