Global Short Term Trend: Decline of 10-30%
Comments: Although natural population fluctuations may occur, numbers appear to be declining in some areas because of habitat destruction and incidental take. Overall, the nesting population in the southeastern U.S. is believed to be declining (CSTC 1990, Taylor 1992).
The northern subpopulation in the western North Atlantic has declined dramatically over the past 20 years. Nesting trends at Cape Island, South Carolina, and Little Cumberland Island, Georgia, nesting beaches that have been consistently surveyed since the early 1970s: from 1973 to 1995, nesting at Cape Island declined on average 3.2 percent per year, and from 1964 to 1995, Little Cumberland nesting activity declined at 2.6 percent per year (see NMFS 2002, Jenkins 2002).