BirdLife Malta seeks to raise awareness on the impact of litter on seabirds

BirdLife Malta

A clean up in Mellieħa is being organised by BirdLife Malta to raise awareness about the Yelkouan Shearwater, a bird which is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea.

The activity will be held on Saturday 6 November and will kick off at 10am.

BirdLife Malta explained that the site chosen, l-Irdum tal-Madonna in Mellieħa, is one of Malta’s Natura 2000 sites and hosts valuable habitats and species, including the most important breeding colony of the Yelkouan Shearwater.

L-Irdum tal-Madonna is a popular camp and picnic site with inadequate waste management. The organisation aims to raise awareness on the problem of littering and its impact on wildlife in particular the Yelkouan Shearwater through this clean up.

BirdLife Malta explained that both plastic waste and organic waste have an impact on wildlife. The organisation highlighted that where natural food resources are limited, rats benefit from organic waste, which would boost their numbers quickly. Rats end up preying on highly nutritious seabird eggs and chicks, causing a reduction in population size of seabird species. Seabirds also end up ingesting high amounts of plastic.

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. A discussion on how to become a seabird activist and how to raise awareness about the issues will also be held.

Those that participate in the cleanup have a chance of winning free tickets to the Shearwater boat trips organised by BirdLife Malta, the organisation announced.