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SPEA: We Must Protect Our Seabirds


The Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA), asks all Madeirans to take part in their annual ‘Save a Seabird Campaign.’  The campaign, which is now in its 12th year, runs until the 15th of  November, the most critical time for young seabirds, as they are often disoriented and dazzled by artificial street lights.  

Approximately, 200 marine birds, mostly juveniles, who are victims of light pollution are saved during the campaign. In addition to the need reduce street lighting, the SPEA ask everyone to be on the look out and rescue any seabird that may be in distress; street lighting blindness is a common cause.  Furthermore, the SPEA Madeira are looking for volunteers to join the ‘patrol groups’ who will circumnavigate the islands (Madeira and Porto Santo) from the 28th of October to the 4th of November.

The ‘Save a Seabird Campaign’ will officially be launched at the SPEA headquarters, located at Rua da Mouraria, nº9, 4ºB, Funchal on the 15th of October.  The associations head office will be open to the general public from 4pm to 6pm, and aims to promote the campaign and provide seabird rescue kits.  

If you find a dazzled or disorientated seabird, you should approach it slowly and put the bird in a cardboard box, and release it later at night, by the sea, in a quiet and dark place. If the bird is injured, please contact the Institute of Forests and Nature Conservation, RAM on 961 957 545 (09:00-17:30) or the GNR – Madeira Territorial Command (available 24 hours). In all cases, please register the incidence with the SPEA, by calling 967 232 195 or by filling out an incident form at .

Samantha Gannon

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