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SPA Site and Sea Actions Saving Puffinus yelkouan in Malta (GARNIJA-MALTIJA)
Date du début: 1 sept. 2006, Date de fin: 30 juin 2010 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

Background Council Directive 79/409/EEC and its amending acts aim at providing long-term protection and conservation of all bird species naturally living in the wild within the European territory of Member States (except Greenland). Species of high priority, in need of urgent protection, are listed in Annex 1 of the Directive. One such species is the Yelkouan shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan). Over the last 25 years, this species of strategic importance at the European level has been in decline in Malta. The bird is under threat because of premature mortality, loss of breeding habitats, and human disturbance at nesting sites. Objectives The project intended to reverse this decline and increase the Yelkouan shearwater population at Rdum tal-Madonna, a designated SPA and host of the largest colony of Yelkouan shearwater on the Maltese islands. The colony holds 500 of the 1 500 breeding pairs in Malta. Results The project achieved some significant ecological results that have benefited the sustainability of Malta’s Puffinus yelkouan population. Outcomes included: improving trends in population sizes of the target species (by 10%); adult survival rates reached 96% and breeding success increased from 21% to 90%. Other key project actions resulted in: human disturbance at the project site being reduced; NGOs and Government working successfully in partnership with long-term management plans for the site in place; a proposal for identification and designation of Marine SPAs in the Maltese islands; and, awareness levels among the public and decision makers increased. In overall terms, the project was the first major and positive experience for protecting a rare bird species in Malta. The Management Plan and the After-LIFE Conservation Plan that it produced represent major assets for the species’ sustainability. Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report (see "Read more" section).


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