November 1, 2019 1:30 pm
Date: Saturday, 16 November 2019
Location: L-Irdum tal-Madonna, Mellieħa
It is a well-known fact that among the different types of litter, plastic makes its way to all corners of our ecosystem and negatively impacts it. But are you aware that organic waste might have a negative impact on wildlife too?
Especially on islands and small islets where natural food resources are limited, invasive species such as rats benefit from organic waste, and boost their numbers quickly. The same islands are usually home to breeding seabirds too, which end up with predation of highly nutritious seabird eggs and chicks by the over-abundant rat population. This is a major threat as it causes a significant reduction in reproductive success and eventually population size of seabird species.
Besides the impact of organic litter, non-biodegradable domestic waste such as plastics can be washed off into the sea and end up in the food web. It is now well-known that seabirds ingest high amounts of plastic, which is probably affecting their survival.
Right now the Yelkouan Shearwater, an endemic Mediterranean seabird, is in danger! L-Irdum tal-Madonna in Mellieħa is one of Malta’s Natura 2000sites and hosts valuable habitats and species, including the most important breeding colony of the Yelkouan Shearwater. At the same time, it is a popular camp and picnic site with inadequate waste management. It is important to keep the area litter-free so as not to attract invasive predators such as rats and also reduce the amount of rubbish entering the sea! This is the largest colony of Yelkouan Shearwater in Malta with over 500 pairs returning each year so our cleanup efforts will be well worth, making the homes for all these birds safer!
The event will start with an information session on Natura 2000 sites, the impact of litter and seabird conservation efforts in the locality, and will then continue with a cleanup at the camping area. We will finally discuss how you can go a step further and become a seabird activist and how to raise awareness about the issues yourself!
Those that participate in the cleanup have a chance of winning free tickets to the Shearwater boat trips that BirdLife Malta organises every year to create awareness among the general public on seabird! All participants of the cleanup will be rewarded with shearwater pin badges to thank them for the help they provided to safeguard our seabirds!
If you want to join us and make a difference, please fill in this form.We will have some reusable gloves to provide, but kindly bring your own if you have some.
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This event is in collaboration with our LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija project as part of the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) 2019 between the 16th and the 24th November 2019.
The European Week for Waste Reduction is the biggest Europe-wide initiative promoting awareness-raising about sustainable resource and waste management on the continent. In Malta its organisation is being coordinated by Wasteserv for the 10th consecutive year.
LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija is a BirdLife Malta EU-funded project that aims at securing the Maltese Islands for the Yelkouan Shearwater.