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Restoration Secures Scopoli’s Shearwater Habitat

Conservationists at PonDerat celebrate the hatching of a Scopoli’s Shearwater chick on Ventotene Island, Italy.

Scopoli’s Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea) hatchlings were historically very difficult to observe on Ventotene Island, Italy. Those chicks that survived did so in the face of invasive rats and typically nested out if sight in inaccessible cliffs. Now that PonDerat and their partners have removed invasive rats from the island, conservationists have been patiently awaiting the recovery of the species.

Although Scopoli’s Shearwaters are considered Least Concern by the IUCN Red List, within the region nesting has been drastically impacted by the presence of invasive species. On Palmarola, a island nearby Ventotene, only one chick out of ten fledged only a few years ago. This year, nine out of ten survived.

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Adult and chicks of Scopoli’s shearwater in Palmarola Island. Credit: Ferdinando Corbi

In August 2019, Sara Riello, a conservationists from PonDerat, was working on Ventotene when she discovered an accessible nest, making it possible for them to watch the bird’s first flight. The team named the chick Ligea after a mermaid from Greek mythology.

The calls of these seabirds sound like a crying baby and it might be that in ancient times sailors listening to these sounds imagined some mythological female beings trying to attract them.”

PonDerat

Ligea, now known as TJ 1592, fledged and is flying over the Atlantic Ocean. Conservationists are hopeful for her eventual return to Ventotene Island and for the ongoing recovery of the species .

Call of Scopoli’s Shearwaters from Ligea’s nest.

Source: PonDerat
Featured photo: Chick of Scopoli’s shearwater in Palmarola. Credit: Camilla Gotti

About Emily Heber

Emily is a recent graduate from UC Santa Barbara with a BS in Zoology. As a student, she discovered that she had a passion for the conservation of endangered species and their ecosystems. Her background in informal education has allowed her the opportunity to share her passion for animals with others, something she seeks to continue doing while working with the communication team. In her spare time, Emily enjoys exploring the amazing hiking trails found in Santa Cruz and tries to SCUBA dive whenever possible. Emily is excited to join the Island Conservation team and to help share the amazing work that is being done here.

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