British colonies, many rare birds. Many still not protected

This video is called Bermuda’s Treasure Island / Bermuda Petrel feeding chick.

From BirdLife:

IBA Directory of UK’s Overseas Territories launched


A new directory of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in the United Kingdom’s 14 Overseas Territories highlights their massive global biological importance.

The UK Overseas Territories (UKOTs) hold 34 bird species globally threatened with extinction and a further 13 species are Near-Threatened.

Of these, 22 are confined to the UKOTs and a further 15 have vital breeding grounds in them.

Threatened species include the Critically Endangered Montserrat Oriole Icterus oberi, which is confined to the Caribbean island and lost more than half of its range following a devastating volcanic eruption in 1997.

Seven albatross and five petrel species with important nesting populations in the Territories are affected by the impacts of longline fishing in the Southern Ocean, particularly in the south Atlantic. …

The report, Important Bird Areas in the United Kingdom Overseas Territories; priority sites for conservation, is published by the RSPB (BirdLife in the UK) and identifies 78 IBAs in the Territories, which stretch from Pitcairn to Bermuda, and from Gibraltar to British Antarctic Territory.

Fewer than half the IBAs have official protection.

Lack of protection in British and French overseas territories: here.

July 2010: When put together, the UK’s overseas territories are fifth in the world league table of bird extinctions, with at least ten species from the territories going to oblivion since 1500AD, partially or wholly because of the impact of non-native mammals, such as rats, feral cats, mice and pigs: here.

Black-browed albatrosses on Falkland islands: here.

Bermuda petrel: here.

At a UNESCO meeting in Brazil this week, the UK Government was warned that the outstanding natural qualities for which Henderson Island, in the Pacific, was listed as a World Heritage Site would be jeopardised if rats are allowed to continue killing and eating unique seabirds and their eggs.

October 2010. The RSPB has announced that it intends to prevent the global extinction of a unique British seabird on the Pacific Island of Henderson, by removing the island’s non-native rats which are eating 25,000 seabird chicks alive annually and competing with the native birds for food: here.

98 tonnes of rat poison (or nearly 50 million pellets) are to be dropped on one of the Pitcairn Islands to safeguard the future of the endemic and Endangered Henderson Petrel Pterodroma atrata, a species with a global breeding range of just 41km2. It’s estimated that each year 25,000 petrel chicks (95%) are eaten alive by rats introduced by earlier Polynesian settlers, and from a population of millions the petrel’s numbers have plummeted to just 16,000 pairs: here.

In pictures: Wildlife of the UK overseas territories: here.

Life+ Cap DOM: Conservation of priority bird species in the French Overseas Departments (DOMs): here.

For the first time of its history, LPO/BirdLife France, with its NGO partners on the ground, launches an appeal for the protection of birds and their habitats in the overseas departments of France. All funds raised will be dedicated for the LIFE+ CAP DOM programme: here.

12 thoughts on “British colonies, many rare birds. Many still not protected

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