Conservation Status

The great auk became Extinct, died out, around 1844 c.e. due to hunting by humans. Several currently existing auk species are considered Vulnerable, facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future, including Xantus's murrelet and the marbled murrelet. Xantus's murrelets are threatened by habitat damage in their breeding grounds in Baja California and on islands off the coast of Southern California. They have also been affected by predators associated with humans such as cats and rats. Marbled murrelets, which occur in areas of the United States, have been affected primarily by habitat loss. Both species are listed as Threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Other members of the auk family are affected by habitat destruction and damage as well as by oil spills and fishing nets.

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