This is the latest nature conservation project coordinated by SPEA, being the only one approved in Portugal under the LIFE4BEST programme for the Outermost Regions of the European Union, the entity said in a statement.

The aim is to "adopt a technology that allows locating colonies and counting individuals through sound, in a non-invasive way", explains SPEA.

"The project has now begun one of its most important phases - the prospection of the probable nesting areas of three species of seabirds, still very unknown: the little Shearwater, the Manx Shearwater and the Common Sandpiper," he said.

According to the note, these birds only return to land during the breeding season, emitting sounds on arrival at the colonies, the "key moment" for the project, which also aims to train technicians from regional entities with responsibility for the environment.

This low-cost methodology may be implemented for the regular monitoring of seabirds in these two Macaronesian archipelagos, allowing their evolution to be followed closely, according to the note.

The coordinator of SPEA Madeira, Cátia Gouveia, stresses the importance of the information collected to "define conservation actions and action plans" for the species in question, recalling the susceptibility of seabirds and threats, such as light pollution.

Simultaneously, an awareness campaign directed to local populations about the seabirds of Macaronesia is taking place.