Threatened seabirds have another tool to help their conservation

Seabirds face innumerous threats that make this group one of the most threatened bird groups in the world. The loss of breeding habitat and predation by invasive alien species are two of the major threats, but with the support of MAVA via a Learning & Sharing grant, SPEA, together with Biosfera 1 and Projecto Vitó just released another tool to help seabird populations to recover.

The Alcyon programme is on of the longest running conservation programmes for the conservation of seabirds in West Africa. During the years of this programme, several lessons were learnt by SPEA and all their partners, and a very good example of a concrete measure that can be followed to improve habitat conditions and increase breeding success was the construction of artificial nests. These nests provide better shelter from predators such as crows or feral dogs and even from the trampling of turtles looking for a place to build their own nests.

Using the small grant support from MAVA, the partners of this project prepared a field guide with instructions on how to build these structures to help conservationists to choose the best, most durable and least expensive options. Several materials were tested to evaluate their advantages and disadvantages and three instructive videos were released and can be used by biologists, conservationists and volunteers to learn how to build these nests and contribute to the recovery or increase of the breeding habitat available for seabirds in Cape Verde or elsewhere.

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