As top predators, raptors often exist at low densities and exhibit low reproductive rates. Raptors typically require large acreages in which to forage, they need healthy prey populations for their often specialized diets, and they have a propensity to concentrate environmental toxins. For these reasons, raptors are vulnerable and sensitive to change in the environment and thus, can serve as indicators of broader biodiversity and environmental health. Around the world there are numerous examples of raptors affected at population levels by environmental toxins and land use change.
A balance between inflowing water and evaporation sustains the Sea. With no outlet, any salts that are dissolved in the inflow are trapped. Salt concentrations in the Sea are currently about 48,000 milligrams per liter (mg/L), or about 30 percent higher than ocean water. Salinity will continue to rise under current conditions, however, under the recently approved Quantification Settlement Agreement inflow to the Sea will be will be significantly reduced. The reduction in inflow will cause the Sea to shrink and cause salinity to rise faster than it would have without a reduction in inflow.