Before taking flight for a long journey

Before taking flight for a long journey

19 October 2020

Last weeks another of our monitoring sessions of shearwater nests took place. In this period, chicks are ready to fly and for this reason, if possible, they are ringed and some biometric parameters are measured (such as weight and length of the beak).

A team bringing together the forces of Life PonDerat (with ISPRA and Lazio Region staff) and Circeo National Park visited the colonies of Ponza, Palmarola and Zannone. The first impression is positive, given the number of juveniles of Scopoli’s shearwater found in the nests. Good news also from Ventotene. In fact, it is known that the action of contrasting rats has an immediate feedback on reproductive success of these species. In other words: fewer rats = more chicks that manage to grow up and fly. Most of them will spend the winter in the Atlantic Ocean off West Africa (the females are usually those that go further south).

Even after Scopoli’s shearwaters left (Yelkouan shearwaters had preceded them by a few weeks), the commitment of all the people working for the protection of these species does not cease, not only in the Ponziane but also in other Tyrrhenian islands where projects similar to ours are in progress, such as in the Tuscan Archipelago or in Tavolara and other Sardinian islands. We owe much to these projects and we collaborate with them often and willingly.

We can already say that in these years of activity, the several hundreds of Scopoli’s and Yelkouan shearwaters that escaped predation by rats will certainly enrich the colonies of our islands.

Fair winds!