By the end of the 19th century, it had been almost totally extirpated by persecution motivated by factors including the trade in its plumes. Today, the greatest threat is habitat loss and degradation through reclamation of tidal flats, estuarine habitats and uninhabited offshore breeding islands for infrastructure, industry, aquaculture and agriculture, and through pollution. Fishers in Liaoning, China, collect eggs for food, and breeding birds are threatened by disturbance. The rapid decline of a colony at Shin-do, South Korea, in the early 1990s, was apparently a result of disturbance by photographers.
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