Thousands of seabirds have been wiped out in the winter storms which have also claimed the lives of dolphins and seals found washed up on west country beaches
The winter storms have caused an "unprecedented" wildlife disaster
, wiping out thousands of rare seabirds, experts said yesterday.
An estimated 1,600 dead birds have washed up on beaches in Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and West Wales since early last month, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds reported.
The bodies of a further 1,000 seabirds have been recovered from beaches in the Channel Islands, with more than 20 species, including guillemots, razorbills, puffins and kittiwakes, among the dead.
The RSPB said that a "double whammy" of climate change and winter storms was making it harder for birds to find enough fish to survive. The deaths will have a serious impact on breeding colonies.
At least 28,000 birds
have perished across the north eastern Atlantic region, with nearly 22,000 washed up along the French coast, the conservationists said.