A new report paints a grim future for birds that rely on the Salton Sea habitat. Audubon California-released report uses bird-monitoring data from several different sources to show just how the destruction of the Salton Sea ecological habitat has decimated the populations of both pelicans and cormorants endemic to the area. As the Salton Sea recedes, the body of water's salinity increases, which kills off its tilapia population. Without tilapia, the birds starve.
According to surveys, there were approximately 20,000 American White Pelicans in 2008. According to Aerial surveys conducted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, that number now sits at 100. Audubon's own research backs up this decline.
According to the report, the Salton Sea has been known to support massive percentages of several different North American Bird Species. According to the report. during the winter months, the Salton Sea habitat harbors:
- An estimated 30% of the population of North American White American Pelicans (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)
- Approximately 50% of the Pacific Flyway population of Ruddy Ducks (Oxyura jamaicensis)
- An estimated 25-90% of the population of North American Eared Grebes Podiceps nigricollis (1 to 3 million birds). (In open water and Salton Sea area impoundments in the 1980's & 1990's)
Source: News Channel 3. April 25, 2019