Troubles in the world’s fisheries have often been overshadowed by other, equally catastrophic issues like global warming (likely to contribute to further collapses in fish populations, as temperature changes shift currents all higgledy-piggledy) and deforestation (contributes to global warming; see previous.)

Well, overshadowed in human view. The seabirds are noticing:

“The sudden rise of infanticide in a [guillemot] colony in the Firth of Forth marks an unprecedented breakdown in the social behaviour of the birds, described by experts as a “catastrophe” that could eventually see the whole colony die out.”

It’s wildly disheartening, but interesting to note that at first stress elicited more social behavior, with adults guarding chicks whose parents were both out to sea. It’s only the prolonged and severe food shortage that is causing them to turn red in beak and claw.

(A short guide to ocean-friendly seafood.)

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