Concern is growing for Scotland’s kittwake population after this year’s count found one breeding colony is now extinct.
RSPB Scotland and the Joint Nature Conservation Committee carried out counts of Orkney’s seabird populations.
They found an 82% decline in breeding pairs of kittiwakes in the past ten years. In 2000 there were 11,000 pairs on the island and this year there were just under 2000.
Mull Head on the Orkney mainland was empty as the birds failed to return to breed. Costa Head and Birsay had less than 200 breeding pairs.
Three other colonies had less than 90 nests each and it is thought these sites will be extinct within the next three years.
Experts have said the decline in numbers is down to the effect of climate change on the North Sea.
Doug Gilbert, from RSPB said: "The counts this year are deeply shocking, especially the loss of kittiwakes at Mull Head. We know that kittiwakes in other parts of Orkney are equally affected, and to think of Orkney without thriving colonies of these fantastic birds is a sad prospect.
"It now appears undeniable that the declines in kittiwake and other seabirds are being driven by changes in the marine environment related to climate change. The food chain of the North Sea is being profoundly affected, and seabirds, at the top of the chain, are suffering. Everyone with an interest in our seas and their health should be paying attention to this.
"Seabirds remain largely unprotected at sea and have been marginalised in the identification of new Marine Protected Areas- this obvious gap needs to be filled if Scotland is going to prove it is serious about protecting threatened wildlife."