Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels

Yelkouan Shearwaters breeding in nest boxes in Italy and Malta will help conservation research

Researchers from the EU Life+ Malta Seabird Project run by BirdLife Malta have recorded Yelkouan Shearwaters Puffinus yelkouan using an artificial nest box placed at one of this threatened seabirds breeding colonies on Malta’s inaccessible sea-cliffs.  LIFE Montecristo 2010, another EU-funded project looking at Yelkouan Shearwaters that breed in Tuscany Archipelago of Italy has also had a similar success trialling nest boxes.  Together, these are the first examples of Yelkouan Shearwaters using nest boxes.

“Normally Yelkouans nest deep in the dark, narrow crevices and caves in the sea-facing cliffs around the islands, which makes their behaviour on their nest very difficult to observe.  If more of these seabirds prove willing to take to nest boxes, it should make it possible for researchers to gain insights into previously unobserved aspects of their breeding ecology.”

Yelkouan Shearwater, photograph by Matthew Borg Cardona

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John Cooper, ACAP Information Officer, 23 May 2014