Calf Manx Shearwater Recovery Project – The story so far

– Posted on Tuesday 12th March 2013

On Saturday 16th March Kate Hawkins, Curator of Natural History at Manx National Heritage will present the story so far from the Manx Shearwater Recovery Project, which brought together a number of conservation organisations in partnership to protect nesting seabirds on the Calf of Man. Due to high interest in the project the talk will now take place at the Manx Museum at 10am, doors open at 9.45am.

The Calf is one of the Isle of Man’s treasures and a destination for breeding seabirds and temporary landfall for spring and autumn migrating birds. It used to be home to thousands of Manx shearwaters, burrow-nesting seabirds that come ashore to their young at night, until brown or Norway rats (also known as ‘longtails’) landed on the island from a shipwreck in the late 1700s. Brown rats wiped out the huge Manx shearwater colony, and since then only a few of these enigmatic birds have managed to breed on the Calf. Despite control measures in recent years, the predatory rats have remained a threat to ground-nesting seabirds and their chicks.

Over the winter season a team of people from Manx National Heritage, the Manx Wildlife Trust, Manx Birdlife, the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture, the UK’s Food and Environment Research Agency and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds came together in a joint effort to eliminate rats from the Calf of Man. The ongoing project aims to make the Calf safer for nesting seabirds and encourage the resurgence of the Manx Shearwater colony.

On Saturday 16th March, Kate Hawkins, Curator of Natural History, will talk about the background to the project, the impetus for the eradication campaign and how it was carried out, and will explain how the Calf can be protected from invasion by rats into the future.

What were the results? Come along and find out at the Manx Museum at 10am on Saturday 16th March. Admission to the talk is free and booking is not required but please ensure you arrive timely as places are limited.

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