Current Affairs
Study launched to protect two endangered Mediterranean bird species

A scientific study was launched aimed at improving the state of conservation of two species of Mediterranean sea birds which are endangered: the Shearwater and the Balearic Shearwater.

The study of the Life Pan Puffinus project is coordinated by Birdlife Malta, together with similar organisations from four countries and Maltese and Greek government entities.

Birdlife Malta conservation head, Nicholas Barbara, said that these birds are only found in the Mediterranean and risk extinction.

“These birds live a long life, however unfortunately, they only nest once a year, that is if the environment conditions do not permit them to have a nest with more chicks, we will see a decline of these birds on a period of years”.

The project’s manager Manya Russo stated that the public may assist by not dumping waste on bays or in the countryside. “One of the reasons for the great presence of rats and predators who basically eat the birds’ eggs is due to waste left over by people”.

The Fisheries and Aquaculture department is collaborating with Birdlife Malta in the scientific study, with Minister Anton Refalo stressing on education since childhood about the importance of conserving our environment.

The five-year study is expected to cost €3.4 million, the majority through funds of the European LIFE program. Parliamentary Secretary Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi said that this project depends from these funds that will lead to further conservation and important studies.

The project is now investigating in detail where the Shearwater birds are present, how fishing affects them and the danger that they face during their life cycle.