BirdLife Malta at­tends two in­ter­na­tional seabird con­fer­ences

● Re­search con­ducted in Malta shared with ex­perts from across the world

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Last week, BirdLife Malta at­tended a meet­ing in Paris to de­velop the Species Ac­tion Plan for Yelk­ouan Shear­wa­ter, joined by lead­ing bird re­searchers and ex­perts from Spain, Italy, France, Morocco, Turkey, Greece, Libya, Croa­tia, Malta, Tu­nisia, Bul­garia and the UK as part of the LIFE EuroSAP project.

The EU-funded project, which is led by BirdLife In­ter­na­tional, aims to tackle the threats that af­fect the con­ser­va­tion of iconic birds in Europe, cov­er­ing a to­tal of 16 species in­clud­ing the Yelk­ouan Shear­wa­ter.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, BirdLife Malta’s for­mer and cur­rent LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija Project Man­agers Ben­jamin Met­zger and Paulo Lago up­dated im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion about the sta­tus of the Yelk­ouan Shear­wa­ter pop­u­la­tions in Malta and to­gether with Yelk­ouan ex­perts worked to iden­tify the main threats and pri­or­ity con­ser­va­tion ac­tions.

Many of the threats this species face are com­mon across a num­ber of coun­tries in­clud­ing pre­da­tion by rats, light pol­lu­tion from land and ves­sels, and dis­tur­bance in the colonies.

The Paris meet­ing also fol­lows from BirdLife Malta’s re­cent at­ten­dance at the sixth In­ter­na­tional Al­ba­tross and Pe­trel Con­fer­ence in Barcelona on 19-23 Septem­ber to share in­for­ma­tion on its pi­o­neer­ing seabird re­search in which Project Man­ager Paulo Lago gave a pre­sen­ta­tion on ‘In­te­grat­ing mul­ti­ple data sources to iden­tify ma­rine pro­tected ar­eas for shear­wa­ters and storm pe­trels in Malta’.

At the same con­fer­ence, seabird re­searcher and BirdLife Malta vol­un­teer, Marie Claire Gatt gave an­other pre­sen­ta­tion on ‘GPS tracks re­veal move­ments of Yelk­ouan Shear­wa­ters (Puffi­nus yelk­ouan) dur­ing the pre-lay­ing pe­riod’. This was also fol­lowed by at­ten­dance at the Ma­rine Task Force meet­ing with other BirdLife part­ners to re­view the Eu­ro­pean BirdLife Ma­rine Strat­egy up un­til 2020.

Paulo Lago said: “It was a plea­sure to at­tend the IAPC6 and a very in­ter­est­ing ex­pe­ri­ence to meet some of the most im­por­tant seabird re­searchers in the world. We were able to learn im­por­tant lessons that can be ap­plied to our cur­rent LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija project. This con­fer­ence in Barcelona was a start­ing point for col­lab­o­ra­tion with seabird re­searchers that we ex­pect will im­prove the qual­ity of our re­search and the out­come of the con­ser­va­tion ac­tions to se­cure Yelk­ouan Shear­wa­ter colonies in Malta.”

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