Important species of Pontine Islands - The Shag

Shag (adult and young) (Photo Nicola Baccetti)

27 July 2020

The adult has emerald green eyes, the juvenile blue eyes. It reproduces in winter, this is why in spring its famous bridal crest has already disappeared. It nests in colonies located along island coasts. Nests are found on cliffs, in ravines between the rocks. After breeding, between June and July, part of the population moves to the continental coasts in search of more favorable feeding sites. In the Ponziane Archipelago the species has recently shown a marked increase. It does not fear alien species except one: humans. Anthropic disturbance is the cause of abandonment of nests with eggs and of ruinous falls of chicks from the cliffs. Once on the sea, they are a target for fast boats, while those managing to dive are threatened by nets. It’s the hard life of the Shag...