Despite being a common species, the declines observed in populations of sooty shearwaters are of concern (8). Several factors have been cited as the reasons behind these declines, including hunting, fisheries and possibly climate change (8). In southern New Zealand, young sooty shearwaters are hunted by native Maori for food and oil, with around 250,000 young birds thought to be taken from their burrows each year (2). The sooty shearwater is also impacted by longline fisheries (8), a practice which is responsible for the deaths of large numbers of seabirds worldwide (10). This fishing method involves a single line up to 130 kilometres long, with thousands of baited hooks attached to it, being pulled behind a boat. Sooty shearwaters, foraging in the ocean, try to eat the bait from the line as it is set behind the boat, but instead swallow the hooks and are dragged under and drowned (11). Finally, it is thought that this species is vulnerable to changes in their food supply, which may result from either commercial fisheries, or global climate change (2).
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