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Read by Dave and Charley

Our final topic will move away from the ecology of our seabirds and focus more on their conservation and protection. We have already mentioned the impact invasive species, pollution such as fishing nets and direct persecution by humans can have on our seabirds. But over the next fortnight we will learn more about these issues and many others and look at how our seabirds can be protected on local and international scales.

The marine team survey in Clonque Bay

The marine team survey in Clonque Bay

Here are your questions for this subject:

  1. Can you name the 6 major threats to seabirds?
  2. How are the AWT improving their diversity of habitats?
  3. Can you draw/make your very own ringed plover protection and awareness sign?
  4. Why does conservation have to happen on a global scale and not just locally?
  5. What are the benefits of protected areas?
Staff and volunteers work very hard on the woodland

Staff and volunteers work very hard on the woodland

It is not all field work at the AWT; there is a lot of office work involved in what we do

It is not all field work at the AWT; there is a lot of office work involved in what we do

ECOLOGIST'S UPDATE

I have told you about the problem rats can pose to seabirds and ground nesting birds. Well, over the past week Nicci has begun her project in detecting the presence of rats around our main seabird colonies. Nicci is able to detect rats by the use of chew sticks; these sticks are coated in cocoa and placed in the ground along transects around the bird colonies.

Nicci putting out chew sticks on Burhou

Nicci putting out chew sticks on Burhou

The cocoa attracts any rats that are already in the area and they try and eat the cocoa. But the cocoa is placed on wooden dowels that will then show the gnawing tooth marks of the rats that try and take the cocoa. Therefore, any sticks that have chew marks on the them will indicate the presence of rats.

A chew stick covered in cocoa

A chew stick covered in cocoa

Burhou is meant to be rat free, but we will check to make sure in Nicci's project. But Nicci will also survey a number of other areas for which if rats are found we can look at controlling, or removing, their population to protect the breeding birds.