Major seabird recovery project gets green light

manx_sr_tcm9-93537

A new 25-year partnership project that aims to protect internationally important seabird populations on the Isles of Scilly has been given the green light.

The islands are home to breeding populations of 14 species and about 20,000 birds, including storm petrels, Manx shearwaters and puffins. The local seabird population has declined by almost 25% in the past 30 years, mainly because eggs and chicks have been preyed upon by rats.

Up until now, rodent control work has been confined to Scilly’s uninhabited islands and has left them rat-free, although work is regularly required to maintain this status. The  project, which involves the RSPB, Natural England and the Duchy of Cornwall together with the islands’ Area of Outstanding  Natural Beauty partnership, Wildlife Trust and Bird Group, aims to make two of Scilly’s inhabited islands rat-free over the next 25 years.

Most of the scheme’s £900,000 financial backing is coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund and, because of Scilly’s Special Protected Area status, from the European Union’s LIFE budget too.

Paul St Pierre, RSPB Conservation Officer, said: “As well as seeking to bolster the population of seabirds, we want  to involve more people in the celebration, enjoyment and protection of the islands’ seabird heritage. We want  to help these islands make more of their seabird heritage and to strengthen  its image as a seabird-friendly destination for an ever wider audience.”

3 responses to “Major seabird recovery project gets green light

  1. Pingback: Good Scilly islands dolphin, shark news | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Hooray. We really need to be proactive in pest control. Gone are the days where there were enough options for wildlife to find another piece of land for breeding. We’ve got to care for the few places they have left.

    Thanks for letting us know about these wins – it helps give me a bit of optimism in a world that is full of things that are hard to be optimitstic about!

    • I think it’s great that so many organisations have contributed funding to this. it shows there’s a real awareness of the international importance of the islands’ seabird heritage.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s