Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lava Gull

Although easy enough to see in the Galapagos Islands, Lava Gulls are among the rarest gulls. Population estimates run from 240 to 1200 birds. They are solitary nesters and lay their eggs near old lava flows on the islands. Presumably their gray plumage helps to conceal them while nesting. Like many gulls, they will eat almost anything from other species' eggs and nestlings, to fish and lizards (Wikipedia). As you can see in this photo of a gull hitching a ride between islands, Lava Gulls often associate with boats.

Although helped by the Galapagos Islands being an Ecuadorian National Park, Lava Gulls face a number of threats. They are occasionally caught on fishing hooks and fishermen have little love for these fish-eating birds. Also, like many Galapagos birds, they face threats from feral cats, rats, and dogs (BirdLife).

No comments:

Post a Comment