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Why You Should Not Hunt Swallow-Tailed Gull

About the Swallow-tailed Gull

The swallow-tailed gull is a unique seabird, one of only four species of the Larus genus. Found primarily in the northern and eastern Pacific, the swallow-tailed gull, also known as the “himmel gull” or the “modern gull”, is distinguished by its lengthy and conspicuous tail feathers.

In addition to its majestic physical features, the swallow-tailed gull is highly sociable and gregarious, typically nestled in large colonies restlessly chattering throughout the day. As its broad wings catch the wind and carries the gull away from danger, the swallow-tailed gull can be seen gracefully gliding in a pattern of large circles and loops, frequently standing on its head for a few seconds before swooping back.

Do not hunt Swallow-Tailed Gull

Developmental Status of the Swallow-tailed Gull

The population of swallow-tailed gulls is estimated to contain somewhere around 200,000 breeding individuals in total, however, the species is not currently assessed as endangered due to its relative wide availability in parts of the Pacific. However, oceanic pollution and habitat destruction arising from human influence may be leading to a drop in the swallow-tailed gull population, making them increasingly difficult to find. Despite being listed as “Least Concern”, the swallow-tailed gulls’ life is to no doubt be monitored as their status can quickly change and does not deny the possibility of endangerment if the proper steps are not taken to ensure their protection.

Reasons Why Hunting Swallow-tailed Gull Is Not a Good Idea

For those wishing to hunt and collect the magnificent swallow-tailed gull, it is important to consider the reasons why hunting these beautiful birds is not an ideal option.

Unethical and Unsustainable

Hunting any bird species is considered an unethical practice in conservation circles, especially when done for the purpose of collecting feathers and other parts from the birds. Since swallow-tailed gulls are not on the endangered species list, they can be legally hunted in some countries, however, due to their shiny feathers and graceful appearance, it is likely only a few of the birds are likely to survive such activities. Therefore, hunting the birds is likely to put the species at risk of overhunting, leading to their depletion as well as affecting their populations. It is important to keep in mind that birds, including the swallow-tailed gulls, are unable to reproduce as quickly as they can be hunted since they only lay a limited number of eggs per year, making it difficult for them to quickly recover from a hunting episode.

Contributing to Pollution

In addition to its direct impacts on the birds’ populations, hunting the swallow-tailed gulls can also have a negative effect on the oceanic environment. Hunting activities can produce pollutants, including lead ammunition which can be hazardous when ingested by marine species, leading to lead poisoning which can have severe effects on their health. By hunting the swallow-tailed gulls, humans do not only harm the birds, but also the surrounding oceanic environment and the numerous other creatures that live in it.

Low Regard for Their Life

Despite the numerous dietary possibilities available on shores, swallows-tailed gulls are widely known to fly long distances each day looking for food, often with limited success. Hence, hunting them would take their lives away regardless of the likelihood of successfully catching food in the open waters. In addition, these birds are also known to be quite vocal, using their uniquely loud call to warn each other of danger or to greet each other as they fly around. As such, they are an essential part of the noise emanating from marine environments, making their hunting an injustice to these feathered creatures and their incredible choral performances.


Swallow-tailed gulls are truly majestic creatures, so any kind of hunting activity should be avoided to ensure their conservation. In addition to the ethical reasons against hunting, their social behavior and oceanic environment should also be taken into consideration. As a final though, anyone wishing to observe these beautiful birds in their brilliant display of flight should never forget the importance of taking necessary precautions to ensure their survival.

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