Why Are Seagulls Protected Birds?

Seagulls have been placed under the protection of endangered species when bird populations started to fall to alarming levels. 

Seagulls are migratory birds that have nests in areas that are often fragile for the environment. Seagulls are protected legally from danger throughout North America and parts of Europe.

Seagulls are part of many other species of migratory birds with regard to their classification as endangered species of wildlife. 

As with other migratory birds they nest in coastal areas and close to lakes. 

The breeding grounds of migratory birds are in danger, which means that populations of birds suffer the consequence when breeding habitats are destroyed.

Seagulls’ disadvantage of being a bird-protected species is that they are increasing in number and becoming a nuisance in some areas. 

Gulls eat marine life, carrion, and leftover food scraps wherever they can find them. If they cannot get enough food in coastal or marine regions, they usually look for food sources within nearby cities and towns.

Since it is against legality to slaughter gulls eliminating their population requires specific legal authorization. 

To ensure your health and the security of the people certain government agencies use non-lethal as well as lethal strategies to reduce the number of gulls in their population.

Seagulls Are Protected by The Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 is an international agreement that binds the United States, Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia.

It is stated that any harming or capturing trading, selling transportation of species that are protected is unlawful unless approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

The first time the act was passed was by Canada and the United States and Canada, then later expanded into Mexico, Japan, and Russia.

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Seagulls are protected because they are native and migrate in accordance with the terms of the treaty.

The Purpose for the Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act aims to coordinate conservation efforts across nations for birds whose habitat is spread across several nations.

Together, the participating nations have helped save millions of birds through protecting their breeding areas as well as wintering areas, and everything else in between.

Birds are protected by The Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The protected species are all migration-related birds that are native to the United States.

This includes birds like that of Akikiki, Apapane, Bushtit, Albatross (Black-browed, Black-footed, and many others), Becard (Gray-collared and rose-throated), Mallard, and Redhead.

Below is a list of additionally protected birds that are protected:

  • Blackbird(Brewer’s Red-winged, and other)
  • Bluebird(Eastern, Mountain and Western)
  • Booby(Blue-footed, Abbott’s, and other)
  • Bunting(Blue Gray Indigo along with others)
  • Catbird(Black and gray)
  • Cormorant(Brandt’s Double-crested, and more)
  • Crake(Corn Paint-billed, HTML0 other)
  • Crow(American, Fish, Hawaiian and many more)
  • Dove(Common Ground Inca, Mourning, and many more)
  • Duck(American Black, Eastern Spot-billed, and other)
  • Eagle(Golden white-tailed, Bald)
  • Falcon(Peregrine, Prairie and many others)
  • Finch(House, Purple and many more)
  • Flycatcher(Dusky, Gray and many others)
  • Gnatcatcher(Black-capped Blue-Gray, California and Black-tailed)
  • Goldfinch (American, Lawrence’s, Lesser)
  • Goose(Canada, Cackling, and other)
  • Gull(Belcher’s Gray-hooded, Belcher’s other)
  • Hawk(Broad-winged Harris’s, Broad-winged and more)
  • Heron(Gray, Great Blue and many others)
  • Hummingbird(Bumblebee and Ruby-throated, and many others)
  • Jay(Blue, Brown, Green, and others)
  • Kingfisher(Guam, Belted and more)
  • Loon(Arctic and Red-throated, as well as others)
  • Mockingbird(Bahama Blue and Northern)
  • Nightjar(Buff-collared Gray, Buff-collared other colors)
  • Nuthatch(Brown-headed, Pygmy, and other)
  • Oriole(Altamira, Audubon’s, Baltimore, and others)
  • Owl(Barn, Barred, Boreal and many more)
  • Palila
  • Pigeon(Band-tailed Plain, Plain, and more)
  • Poorwill
  • Quail Dove (Bridled, Key West and Ruddy)
  • Raven(Chihuahuan and Common)
  • Robin(American, European, Rufous-backed and many more)
  • Sandpiper(Baird’s (Baird’s, Broad-billed among others)
  • Screech-Owl (Eastern, Puerto Rican and other)
  • Seedeater
  • Sora
  • Stork
  • Swallow(Mangrove, Tree, and other)
  • Tanager(Flame-colored scarlet and more)
  • Titmouse(Black-crested Bridled, Black-crested, and many more)
  • Verdin
  • Vulture(Black and Turkey)
  • Warbler(Adelaide’s, Bachman’s, Bay-breasted)
  • Whip-poor will (Eastern as well as Mexican)
  • Willet
  • Woodpecker(Red-headed and Red-bellied, as well as others)
  • Yellowthroat(Common as well as Gray-crowned)
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This list doesn’t include the entire list of protected species. For the complete list, refer to Title 50 Part 10.13 of the Code of Federal Regulations.

Penalties for Violations of Migratory Bird Treaty Act Migratory Bird Treaty Act

The violation of an agreement under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is a federal crime that could be punished with fines of up to $15,000 or even imprisonment for up to six months.

It’s also a crime to capture a protected bird for sale and carries the possibility of a fine of up to $2,000 or up to one year in prison.

Exemptions for Control Reasons for Population Control Justifications

If birds are threatening human health, well-being, and health of humans The U.S. government offers an exception to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to permit population control.

For example, the U.S. government has allowed seagulls to be killed at Puget Sound ferry terminals due to complaints of aggressive birds and bird-dropping-related illnesses.

In certain instances, the federal government will allow the hunting of protected species as the population is sufficiently healthy to handle the reduction in numbers.

Intentionally killing or removing protected species can be permitted in certain instances, but it is not without controversy from conservation groups.

Are Seagulls Endangered?


Certain species of gulls may be endangered, for example, the Black-billed Gull.

The Olrog’s Gull, as well as Lava Gull, are considered vulnerable. It is believed that the Adouin’s Gull and Ivory Gull are in danger in accordance with the IUCN Red List of threatened species.

Other birds that are endangered by the IUCN include:

  • Relict Gull: Vulnerable
  • China Black-headed Gull At-Risk
  • Heermann’s Gull: Near Threatened
  • The White-eyed Gull Near Endangered
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It is the IUCN Red List

The IUCN Red List was created by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 1964 to monitor the conservation status of plants, animals, and fungi.

The conservation group assigns a status to every species based on the risk of being extinct. Here are the classifications for conservation status

  1. Not evaluated:species that is not one of the 134.425 species that have been assessed.
  2. Insufficient Data: animals that do not have adequate documentation of health of the population
  3. Lowest Concern The species have not been evaluated but don’t fit into any other category
  4. Near Threatenedspecies susceptible to be endangered in the near term.
  5. Highly vulnerable:species at high risk of being extinct in the wild
  6. Endemic: species at very high risk of becoming extinct in the wild
  7. Critically endangered:species at extremely high probability of disappearing in the wild
  8. The species is extinct wild: species only exist in captive environments
  9. The species is extinct.no live members in the species

What Conservation Initiatives are Taken to Protect Seagulls?

Seagull conservation efforts consist of protecting breeding areas and avoiding development close to their nesting sites.

Seagulls breed and nest in coastal areas They are becoming increasingly fragile.

Seagulls have also seen their numbers increase due in response to fishing commercial operations.

Discards from fishing vessels are an excellent source of food for gulls. However, at present, they’ve not been used in a deliberate method to save the seagull population.

In the same way, gulls are a good choice in the event that we place biodegradable garbage in the garbage dumps.

However, the negative effects of incorporating biodegradable materials into landfills have overshadowed any benefits to conservation.

In general, seagulls are more likely to be viewed as a threat to peace than a species in need of protection.

There are only a few ongoing conservation efforts that are aimed at protecting these species.

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