The Circumpolar Seabird Group under CAFF and the Arctic Council has proposed a conservation plan for the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, a species which has been declining severely since the 1970s. Four main objectives are identified, and specific actions to obtain these objectives have been defined.

Anthropogenic threats

The global population of black-legged kittiwake has decreased by 40% since 1975, and there is growing concern that this decline will continue. Marine ecosystem change is probably the main driver of kittiwake populations, but fisheries, pollutants, oil pollution, predation, hunting, tourism and other anthropogenic disturbances also threaten this species. The Circumpolar Seabird Expert Group (CBird), which is part of the Conservation of Arctic Flora and Fauna (CAFF) Working Group of the Arctic Council, has developed a strategy and action plan to facilitate implementation of initiatives to conserve and protect the circumpolar kittiwake population. The four main objectives of the plan are to reduce adult mortality, increase breeding success, prevent loss and degradation of habitat, and to improve the knowledge of ecologically limiting factors for kittiwakes. For each objective, the expert group has identified a set of goals and actions that must be taken to solve the underlying problems related to the conservation of kittiwake populations.

Read the plan:

Contact person: Hallvard Strøm, Norwegian Polar Institute

Black-legged kittiwakes breed in dense colonies all around the Arctic. They are among the smallest gull species, and they lay 2-3 eggs per breeding season.
Photo: Erlend Lorentzen, Nowegian Polar Institute