“Save a Seabird” against light pollution in Madeira

in Renature · 30-10-2020 01:00:00 · 0 Comments

“Save a Seabird” is the campaign of the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA), with the aim to raise the awareness of the population of Madeira to the consequences of light pollution, which leads to the death of these birds.

The campaign, created in 2009, calls for the need to implement measures to mitigate light pollution, as well as to promote energy efficiency and conservation of the species of seabirds present in the archipelago of Madeira. Also, to raise awareness among the population and various entities – like City Councils - about the problem of light pollution and how it affects seabirds.
Lectures in public places, schools, people’s houses, community centres, are some of the actions being prepared. “Spreading information about the ecology of seabirds, the species present in the archipelago, the general threats, Light Pollution, rescue procedures, and campaign results in previous years” are the topics to highlight, the association told The Portugal News.
“Save a Seabird” will take place until mid November. “This period coincides with a higher exit rate for juveniles who, due to their inexperience, are more attracted by light”, said Cátia Gouveia, coordinator of SPEA Madeira.

Light pollution is a global threat to biodiversity and, in particular, to seabirds of the procellarriform order, with 56 species said to be affected by artificial light, including 24 that are globally threatened”, said Cátia Gouveia to The Portugal News Annually, about 200 seabirds are registered as victims of light pollution. However, only a few of these birds are found, resulting in data that is considered to not be representative of all birds that are victims of this threat.
The SPEA coordinator explained to The Portugal News that all six species of seabirds on the islands are affected by the impact of over lighting.

How can we protect seabirds?
Cátia Gouveia concluded with a plea to the population in Madeira: “If someone finds a bird, approach it carefully, cover the bird with a coat or blanket and place it in a cardboard box. Leave it in a quiet place and at night, release it in a poorly lit area close to the sea. If the bird is injured, the Institute for Forests and Nature Conservation should be contacted”.


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