Balearic Shearwater survey 18 August 2015 – could you help?

RSPB and MARINElife are trialling a joint synchronised land/sea survey for Balearic shearwaters (and also bottle nosed dolphins) from Portland to Lundy on 18th August. We are testing this as a way to help arrive at a population estimate for Balearics using the seas around the SW peninsula.   The combined survey will cover up to 4km out to sea and the observations from the multiple land based watch locations will help to validate those  from the boat based crew. 

Although we realise there are so many variables that could affect the survey (timing/weather conditions/location/no birds etc) we have agreed on this date  and hope to build on the great information already collected by previous researchers and survey projects over the last few years and keep the momentum going to help safeguard this critically endangered seabird.

Many of you have been involved in past projects such as JNCC seabird surveys and Seawatch South West and have your regular seawatching sites, so we would really appreciate your help and experience at key sites if you are available on the day.  If the coordinated approach really works and gives us valuable data we would look at repeating the land-based operation again, perhaps even in September/October  this year and then as an ongoing initiative. 

If you are an experienced seawatcher and would like to be part of the land-based survey on the 18th, please contact SWseabird-surveys@rspb.org.uk and we will send you more information.

If you are ESAS trained and could help with the boat-based surveys please get in touch with Rachel at MARINElife rachel.davies@marine-life.org.uk

Posted August 1st, 2015 at 2:17 pm by Steve Waite in Bird News