12 November 2009
When overfishing is not only a 'fish problem'
Due to overfishing of sardines and anchovies off the coast of South Africa, the population of cape gannets has dwindled, but this is not the only problem that they are facing.
On the island of Malgas, one of the only six places where gannets breed, the great white pelicans are starving too, so they are changing their feeding behaviour.
Usually one gannet parent takes care of the chicks while the other is hunting out at sea. But the lack of prey is now forcing both parents to go hunting in the same time, leaving the little vulnerable offspring alone. Pelicans are taking advantage of this situation: they attack and eat any gannet chick left unprotected by its parents and small enough to be swallowed. As a result, entire gannet colonies are increasingly in danger.
For more information and to see the BBC video: