France, Portugal and Spain team up to study plastic’s impact on seabirds

Plastic has become one of the biggest environmental scourges on the entire planet. The impact on the oceans is huge. Some studies predict that About 90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachsand this people would be consuming the plastic equivalent of a credit card a week. Organizations from three countries, Portugal, France and Spain, joined forces to analyze the impact of plastics on the sea and seabirds.

The research will be carried out through a survey. new life projectRescuing Seabirds from Marine Litter, called ‘SeaBiL’ and launched earlier this year, took three years.

The initiative is managed at a general level by the research team from the French conservation organization LPO (Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux) and LIENS laboratories (through the University of La Rochelle), SPEA (Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo) in Portugal. das Aves) and University of AlmeriaIn addition SEO/Bird Life.

Plastic causes serious harm to birds. When it doesn’t kill them by swallowing it, it puts their lives at risk and affects their habitat as well as their reproductive success.

It was established to determine the true impact of plastics on birds. six pilot sites where most of the actions will take place: four Spain (Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve in Vizcaya; Santoña, Victoria and Joyel Marismas Nature Park in Cantabria; Cabo de Gata Nature Park in Almería and Ebro Delta Nature Park in Tarragona); a France (Gironde Estuary and Pertuis Sea Marine Nature Park) and a Portugal (Berlengas Islands Nature Reserve) occupies the Atlantic Arc and part of the Spanish Mediterranean.

Gannet is borderline.


four line business

The ‘SeaBiL’ Life project funded by the European Commission proposes four lines of work, some of which are already underway:

-Develop and coordinating the clean-up of beaches and the monitoring of seabirds along the coastline.

-To increase gain knowledge about the impact of plastics on the seabird community and identify certain species as indicators of environmental quality.

-To determine the main sources and types of litter dumped into the sea to optimize their management and prevention.

-To actualize sensitivity and awareness actions.

Relationships will be established with different institutions, organizations and public or private organizations to develop many of the actions. It aims to unite business networks that can continue to operate on their own after the project ends..

“From this point, wildlife rescue centers play a vitally important role, because it is an essential part when it comes to receiving, storing and conducting initial analyzes of birds that have come to our shores weak and, in many cases, have died. “Plastic remnants, visible or invisible to the human eye, will be sought in these, which perhaps may have been stored in their bodies,” says Felipe González, a Cantabria SEO/BirdLife delegate.

In mid-June, the first of the project workshops took place at the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve with the participation of partners and various representatives of fauna rescue centers and working groups dedicated to studying marine ecosystems. In it, guidelines for sampling from border birds were defined.

Creating a tissue bank

To fill the current data gap, the ‘SeaBiL’ project is a transnational monitoring network for collection of coastal seabirds and storage in rehabilitation centers.

A seagull with plastic rings in its beak.


Coinciding with the migration of thousands of tourists to coastal areas during the summer months, several awareness and sensitivity daysTo ensure the participation of citizens in the environmental problem caused by the garbage in our seas.

In the long run, the aim is create a tissue bankThis will make it possible to analyze the collected birds and to identify a type of indicator regarding the ecological status of seabirds and the coastline in general. Additionally, an onshore seabird and wreck monitoring tool will be made available to the public and feed data at the national and transnational levels.

“Furthermore, we will encourage its use. ICAO citizen science mobile appEnsuring that the seabirds that tourists and any citizen can find on the shores of the beach are recorded throughout the year; Birds that can die at sea for various reasons and spawn on beaches brought on by the tides,” says Paulo Lago, SEO/BirdLife Marine Program technician.

Users, in turn, can also access data on litter on beaches. Marnoba appFrom Vertidos Cero, an association that SEO/BirdLife collaborates with.

Reference website: : https://lifeseabil.com/

SEO/BirdLife Maritime Program: https://seo.org/mares/

Source: Informacion

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