Coastal Conversations Radio Program: Gulls and Seabirds in the Gulf of Maine, How are They Doing?

Coastal Conversations April 08, 2016
WERU 89.9 in Blue Hill and 99.9 in Bangor
Host: Natalie Springuel, Maine Sea Grant

audio frequency iconListen to the show on WERU archives

Rats with wings. That’s how people often refer to herring gulls and great black-backed gulls because these seabirds seem so common, so ubiquitous, that they are practically a nuisance. But scientists report that gull populations on the coast of Maine are plummeting at an alarming rate, right under our very noses. And they don’t really know why or what that decline portends for other marine species.

This is Natalie Springuel, from the University of Maine Sea Grant, host of Coastal Conversations.

On our next program, we will talk with College of the Atlantic students, graduates and faculty who are on the ground, sometimes quite literally in the middle of bird colonies, attempting to understand the precipitous decline of seabirds in the Gulf of Maine.

As always, your insights, experience, and questions are welcome as part of the conversation.

Make a note to tune in Friday morning, April 8, from 10 to 11 AM, when this month’s Coastal Conversation is about seabirds in the Gulf of Maine and the scientists and students at College of the Atlantic who are passionate that we humans have a lot to learn from rats with wings.

Only on WERU community radio, 89.9 FM in Blue Hill and 99.9 in Bangor, and online at


John Anderson, W.H. Drury Professor of Ecology & Natural History, College of the Atlantic
Meaghan Lyon, senior at College of the Atlantic
Audra McTague, first year at College of the Atlantic
Kate Schlepr, graduate student at University of New Brunswick

For more information:

College of the Atlantic’s Island Program
Of what value is a gull? by John Anderson
Seabrids at Great Duck Island
Gulf of Maine Seabird Working Group
Sea gulls as potential bioindicators of ecosystem health in the Gulf of Maine
Gulls in Two Worlds: The Rise and Fall of Gull Populations in the North Atlantic​

audio frequency iconListen to the show on WERU archives
More information about Coastal Conversations Radio Program