[WATCH] BirdLife Malta’s seabird project enters important phase for Yelkouan Shearwater conservation

To mark their new stage in the project, BirdLife Malta have launched the official LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija project video

BirdLife Malta’s seabird project, LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija has entered its third year and a new phase of important conservation actions to tackle the threats Yelkouan Shearwater (Garnija) populations face in the Maltese Islands.

To mark this new stage in the project,  BirdLife launched the official LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija project video.

The project concluded its first phase at the end of 2017 which saw Yelkouan Shearwater populations and their threats around Malta and Gozo monitored and assessed.

The main threats identified in the breeding colonies were predation by rats, light pollution from developed areas, littering left by visitors and disturbance by boats.

Based on the data collected during the first years, the project team is now implementing conservation actions to reduce these risks, including localised rat control programmes in colony sites to secure half of the Maltese population of Yelkouan Shearwaters and increase reproductive success.

The project is working with local stakeholders and the general public to reduce littering close to colonies, mainly in Rdum tal-Madonna and Comino. Litter left by campers at L-Aħrax tal-Mellieħa and by visitors to the Blue Lagoon maintains large rat populations that then feed on shearwater eggs and chicks. In view of this the project is calling on site visitors to collect their rubbish and dispose of it in bins or even better bring it back home or to the harbour from where they departed to Comino.

One of the project’s main objective is to increase awareness among site users and the Maltese public in general about this wonderful and unique seabird species.

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