This video says about itself:
23 December 2013
This video says about itself:
23 December 2013
This video from Wales is called Skomer Manx Shearwater Burrow Cam.
From British Birds:
Published on 23 September 2014
Although Manx Shearwaters have bred on these two islands for decades, eggs and chicks were always eaten by rats while they were still in their burrows. But last winter the islands’ rats were removed and conservationists are now celebrating the first sightings of healthy youngsters.
So far ten chicks have been recorded by project staff, volunteers and trail cameras. By this time of year the adult shearwaters have already left the chicks to migrate to South America for winter. These chicks, left in a healthy condition by their parents, are now coming outside their burrows at night-time to stretch their wings and to ‘stargaze’. By looking at the stars they learn the location of their natal colony so they know exactly where to come back to.
Once they leave the islands they will live out at sea, moving to the southern hemisphere where they winter off the coast of Brazil. Potentially living up to 55 years, they make these long migrations each year.
RSPB Project Manager, Jaclyn Pearson said: ‘We are absolutely delighted to announce this news. It is down to the help of everyone involved in the project so far, particularly the community of folk living on the islands who continue to keep these islands rat-free. This is an official status we hope to achieve by early 2016. But in the meantime with these 10 Manx Shearwater chicks, the project is having exactly the effect we hoped for. We would also thank our funders LIFE, and the Heritage Lottery Fund for making this work possible.
‘We need everyone’s help who visits St Agnes and Gugh to help us to ensure biosecurity measures. Over the next couple of months we have activities to discourage and remove food sources from any potential rats. There will be beach cleans, bin days and an “Apple Day” where we will remove and juice wind fallen apples. Please do come and get involved if you are visiting the islands.’
Isles of Scilly Seabird Ecologist Vickie Heaney said: ‘For so many years now I’ve been returning to the burrows looking for evidence of chicks fledging, only to find old cobwebs over the entrances and no signs of life. So it’s been really brilliant this year for myself, project staff and volunteers to see live chicks stargazing. With their remnants of fluff, they looked fit and healthy; ready for their awe-inspiring migration.’
David Appleton, adviser for the Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project for Natural England, said: ‘This is excellent news – it’s early stages but we are very hopeful about the bird’s recovery on St Agnes and Gugh. We’ll know more when they return to breed in 2–4 years. In the meantime, everyone is working hard to keep rats off the islands and we’re asking residents and visitors to report any rat sightings to the hotline number and to thoroughly check for “stowaways” on transport to the islands.’
If people think they see rats on either St Agnes or Gugh they are asked to call the project ‘Rat on a rat’ hot-line on 01720 422153. The project team and islanders will then inspect the area and set up surveillance and incursion response measures.
This is a partnership project between RSPB, Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Natural England and Duchy of Cornwall. The project is funded by LIFE, the EU’s programme for financing key environmental schemes across the continent and a £269,100 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
This video says about itself:
19 March 2011
They spend their whole life on the sea and they are fascinating flying artists.
Every year lots of the Cory´s shearwaters, mostly the young, meet with an accident. During the last six years Bruno Dittrich helped about 100 of them to regain their strength.
From Twitter today:
This video from Britain is called Scilly’s seabirds – from daybreak to dusk.
From Wildlife Extra:
The nests of rare seabirds on Scilly will be better protected this year since the successful removal of two of the islands’ rat populations. The Isles of Scilly Seabird Recovery Project (IOSSRP) has not recorded a single rat on either St Agnes or Gugh in the past 20 weeks and everyone is cautiously hopeful that rare nesting seabirds will now be able to flourish free of predation from rats.
Following the world’s largest community-based rat eradication project, the aim is to keep St Agnes and Gugh ‘rat-free’ – a status that can only be officially declared two years after the last sign of rats. The UK is internationally important for seabirds, but many species are declining in numbers. Among the many challenges they face, the greatest land threat is predation of eggs and chicks by brown rats. Of the rich array of seabirds nesting in Scilly, the two that are likely to benefit from the project the most are the Manx shearwater and the storm petrel that nest in holes and burrows.
It was New Zealand island restoration specialists Wildlife Management International Limited (WMIL), that was contracted to carry out the key rat removal phase of the project over five months from November 2013 to March 2014. They were joined by more than 20 ‘Seabird Task Force Volunteers’ during the five month period, and all 85 islanders also assisted in the operation.
Now, the priority will be to prevent rats coming back and enable the seabirds populations to recover. So everyone arriving at the islands is asked to check their baggage for stowaways, and everyone is urged to ‘rat on a rat’, and report any rat sightings to the project team. Islanders will then inspect the area and set up surveillance and incursion response measures.
Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust Manager, Sarah Mason said: “This next phase of the project is now critical and we are pleased to be playing such an important part in what is a ground-breaking project for seabird conservation in the UK. Our work to keep the uninhabited islands rat-free continues, and we are pleased to say that Annet, the most important island for breeding seabirds is currently free of rats.”
Project Manager, Jaclyn Pearson said: “The seabirds are about to return, and already they have a brighter future. When visiting the islands you may see the permanent monitoring stations around the coast of St Agnes and Gugh. They are housing pieces of chocolate wax which is very attractive to rats. So if a rat does arrive on the islands they will gnaw on the chocolate wax, leaving teeth marks which can be detected. These monitoring stations will be checked by the Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust team, myself and islanders.
“If there is an incursion, which may also be evident through other rat signs such as droppings, or a sighting of a rat, the response will be to set up a 50m baiting grid in the immediate area.”
St Agnes councillor and community representative Richard McCarthy commented: “The winter rat removal work has gone brilliantly. Despite the dreadful weather Biz Bell of WMIL and her team, plus all the volunteers, marched round the islands checking the bait stations with a cheerful word for everyone and a smile on their faces under their bright orange hats. They’ve done their bit and we’re really sorry to see them go. Now it is over to us. Getting rid of the rats in such a short space of time has been a major triumph. But keeping St Agnes and Gugh rat-free is going to present a considerable challenge for the project team, the Wildlife Trust and islanders at large in the weeks and months ahead.”
Also from Wildlife Extra:
Sound recording to entice puffins back to Ramsey
It is hoped playing a recording of a puffin call on Ramsey Island off the Welsh coast will help entice the puffins back there to breed. To aid their temptation to land on the island there are also a number of decoy puffins.
Puffins fled Ramsey in the 1800s when rats began to arrive in large numbers from shipwrecks. The rats were finally got rid of 14 years ago but since then the RSPB have not been able to entice the birds back.
Although the system was trilled for four weeks last year without success, birds were recorded as making landfall on low tide rocks below the speaker and on one memorable occasion eight birds landed on the cliff tops among the decoys. With the device out for a full season this year it is hoped that this time the birds will like what they see when they land and stay and breed.
This video from Britain says about itself:
7 June 2012
A documentary about Lundy Island. A place of peace and tranquillity, where a wealth of wildlife and stunning scenery attracts vistors from all around the world all year round……But with plans for a new offshore wind farm, named the Atlantic Array, the unique wildlife of Lundy could be in jeopardy.
From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Lundy bird populations soar after rats eradicated
Findings will give encouragement to a similar project due to get under way this autumn on two of the isles of Scilly
Tuesday 30 July 2013
A project to eradicate rats from a rocky island off Devon has resulted in a tenfold increase in the population of an endangered burrowing seabird that nests there, conservationists have revealed.
Survey teams from the RSPB who returned to Lundy 10 years after the launch of the seabird recovery project found that the number of breeding pairs of Manx shearwaters had leapt from 300 to 3,000. Puffin numbers had increased from just five birds to 80, while razorbills and shags had also made substantial gains.
Helen Booker, RSPB senior conservation officer in the south-west of England, said: “This is such an exciting result, better than we expected, and the rate of increase is an indication of just how important rat-free islands like Lundy are as breeding site for seabirds.”
David Bullock, head of nature conservation for the National Trust, which owns Lundy, said “Once the rats had gone from Lundy, the number of pairs of shearwaters went from hundreds to thousands in matter of a few years.”
He said such a rapid recovery must have been aided by birds from other colonies, probably including those on islands off the Pembrokeshire coast, settling to breed on Lundy.
The results will provide encouragement for a similar project on St Agnes and Gugh, 28 miles off the south-west tip of mainland Britain. Here an estimated 3,100 brown rats are blamed for preying on Scilly shearwaters as well as storm petrels, terns and the Scilly shrew, a rodent found only on the archipelago.
From this autumn, poison bait will be laid for the rats as part of a 25-year Isles of Scilly seabird recovery project, which is being run with cash from the National Lottery, the EU’s Life fund and other sources.
It follows a 25% fall in bird numbers in recent years. The project is deemed feasible because the islands are surrounded by deep water, and so it is thought unlikely once the rats there are removed that others will be able to repopulate it.
It is deemed particularly important because St Agnes and Gugh are close to the uninhabited island of Annet, which has significant colonies of seabirds.
Jaclyn Pearson, project manager for the Isles of Scilly recovery project, said it had the backing of the 75 residents of St Agnes, though some of the children had taken some convincing.
She said the bait stations were designed to be accessible only to rats, and a stock of the antidote had been ferried across in case a cat or dog got to the poison.
See also here.
The world’s biggest rat-killing campaign underway on South Georgia Island: here.
This video is about seabirds around the Isles of Scilly.
From Wildlife Extra:
Scilly sea birds get big funding boost
Isles of Scilly seabird recovery project gets green light
January 2013. A major new 25 year partnership project to provide a safe future for internationally important seabird populations on the Isles of Scilly has been given the green light with major funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and the EU LIFE programme being secured.
14 species of sea bird
The islands are home to breeding populations of 14 species and approximately 20,000 birds. This includes storm petrel and Manx shearwater for which the UK has a global responsibility. Since 1983 though these populations have been in decline and one out of four birds lost.
The project has a number of aims including the protection and restoration of seabird islands, increasing the number of people actively involved in seabird conservation, and enabling the islands to make the most of these assets by providing better access and enjoyment for people, which provides the income for islanders that will help secure the future of these birds.
One of the major threats to the seabirds is predation of eggs and chicks by rats. Work over the last 15 years on the uninhabited islands has left them rat-free but further work is required to maintain them as seabird friendly. With the support of the local community, conservationists now have the same ambition for the inhabited islands of St Agnes and Gugh.
The project will be managed by a coalition of groups including RSPB, Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Duchy of Cornwall the Isles of Scilly Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) partnership and a representative from the islands, with support from the Isles of Scilly Bird Group. A project manager has recently been appointed.
Paul St Pierre, RSPB Conservation Officer, said; “As well as seeking to bolster the population of seabirds, we want our project to involve more people in the celebration, enjoyment and protection of the islands’ seabird heritage.”
“The Isles of Scilly has long traded rightly on the quality of its natural environment and seabirds are a major element of that. Who can imagine a trip here in spring or summer, for instance, without trying to see the puffins? We want this project to help these islands make more of their seabird heritage and to strengthen still further its image as a seabird-friendly destination through the use of various media, including web technology, for an ever wider audience.
“Those involved will be working closely with the local community to help them make the most of this important part of the islands’ economy. In sharing this experience with similar communities elsewhere, we hope this will encourage and support others in giving their seabirds a brighter future.”
David Mawer, Senior Conservation Warden, Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust said: “This is a very exciting project and will bring many benefits to wildlife, locals and visitors, and crucially it will safeguard Annet, Scilly’s most important seabird reserve. The successful removal of rats from the uninhabited island of St. Helen’s resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of Manx shearwaters breeding there. The eerie cries and shadowy silhouettes of seabirds at dusk could soon be another wildlife spectacle enjoyed by locals and visitors on St. Agnes. To hear storm petrels singing magically from within the boulder beaches would be really wonderful. Seabirds already attract visitors to Scilly, and this project and the clever use of technology can reveal more of their fascinating lives, whilst leaving the seabirds free from unwanted disturbance.”
From Wildlife Extra:
Record year for cetacean sightings off Scilly Isles ferry
Best year yet for marine wildlife sightings off the Scillonian!
November 2012. During the 2012 summer season, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust have had a marine wildlife guide, Paul Semmens, onboard the Scillonian III. Paul is onboard at least once a week between April and the end of October 2012. He surveys the route from Penzance to the Isles of Scilly, looking for the wonderful sharks, dolphins and whales that visit our Cornish waters, as well as showing the passengers these brilliant creatures.
As part of the Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s marine conservation programme, Living Seas, Paul has been recording wildlife spotted as part of an on-going survey of what occurs in Cornish and Scillonian waters.
During the 2012 season there was so much to see! 1554 animals were recorded, a record year so far. These records consisted of;
Paul says “During the 4 years that I have worked onboard, 2012 has been my best year yet. This was particularly special in a summer with very unsettled weather. There was a huge increase in harbour porpoises, a species that is not easy to spot in all but the calmest conditions. There has been a definite inshore movement of this species, as well common dolphins, probably in response to shoals of small bait fish. It was great to see leatherback turtles this year – they are huge beasts that can grow to seven foot long. It has been a record year in Cornish waters for this species with many sightings all around the coast. As we approached autumn we had regular sightings of Minke whales and Risso’s dolphins especially as we drew near the Isles of Scilly. I would like to thank the crew and Isles of Scilly Travel staff for their continuing support of this project as we continue to build up a substantial database on the distribution of marine megafauna. The Scillonian is a great platform from which to look for these exciting animals and it is unusual not to see dolphins or porpoises on a crossing.’
Jackie Hayman, of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company says, “The wildlife watching tips with Paul are always extremely popular so we are thrilled to be launching a series of sailings throughout 2013. It’s a great way to make the most of your time at sea during your journey to the Isles of Scilly and Paul always makes the trips informative. He is extremely knowledgeable and has a keen eye so you’re sure to spot some great wildlife on the trip. Make sure you book early so you don’t miss out.”