The herring gull and the laughing gull have ended up on the red list of threatened species in Sweden due to their rapidly decreasing numbers.
The main reason is that we covered landfills.
– The species returns to a normal state, now they have to survive on fish instead, says Henrik Thurfjell, environmental analysis specialist at SLU’s species database.
Freaky seagulls stealing French fries are not an uncommon sight – the species increased greatly due to man’s lax waste management during the 20th century. But as the garbage mountains are covered, the seagulls are decreasing so fast that they have ended up on the red list of threatened species.
In fact, both herring gulls and laughing gulls have the status of “near threatened”, according to the Swedish University of Agriculture’s (SLU) inventory.
– There is a risk of extinction for these species, but the decline has already leveled off, so I have a hard time for that to happen. When there is a fodder base left, they will adapt to it, says Henrik Thurfjell at SLU.
“We don’t need to help them even more”
The soplets must return to the fish diet.
– Not all reductions in nature are evil. They have a clear role in the ecosystem but we don’t need to help them even more.
When the number of seagulls decreases, other more specialized birds may fare better, partly because the seagulls do not steal their eggs.
– The seagulls can be nasty nest predators. When I look at the trend data, the fish tern is increasing and that may be because it is good at fish but worse at garbage, says Thurfjell.