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Save a Seabird

The Funchal City Council has joined the ‘Save a Seabird’ campaign, which started on the 15th of October and runs until the 15th of  November, with the aim of helping seabirds who are victims of light pollution in Madeira.

This initiative, despite being more directed to the largest and most abundant seabird on Madeira Island – the Cory’s Shearwater, also warns of the mortality of other species of seabirds nesting on the island who are also affected by artificial night light.

In the case of the Shearwater, its juveniles, still inexperienced, can become confused and disorientated with night flights leading them to fall out of the air through exhaustion.  This leaves them vulnerable to injury, mortality, and predator attacks.

The Municipality of Funchal is therefore assisting in the initiative by seconding municipality employees to become responsible for several areas considered critical in the city of Funchal. In addition to this initiative, the CMF will turn off the uplighting of some of the buildings and places around Funchal.

By reducing light pollution the ‘Natura@night Project,’ in which Funchal is a partner, is to protect vulnerable species of birds in the protected areas of the archipelagos of Madeira, Azores, and Canary Islands, and to mitigate its impacts on protected species that light pollution has on seabirds.

As part of the project, the Municipality of Funchal is developing its Public Lighting Master Plan, a strategic instrument for the management of lighting in public space, from a perspective of efficiency and collective well-being.

The campaign takes place every year, at this time, in a joint effort to try to save as many seabirds as possible, especially the Cory’s Shearwater.

Samantha Gannon

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