New success for Balearic shearwater monitoring

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Knowledge & data

The French Biodiversity Agency (OFB) and its partners fully achieved their objectives during the second data acquisition campaign for the Balearic shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus), which took place in southern Brittany.

In August 2022, OFB organized a Balearic shearwater monitoring campaign in the Mor Braz to test and validate a brand new capture method using a net propelled by an air gun from a semi-rigid boat.

Following the success of this first experiment, a second campaign was carried out in the summer of 2023 by  OFB, CNRS, LIENSs, the Northern New Zealand Seabird Trust (NNZST), Biotope and the SKRAVIK association. 30 individuals were captured and blood and feather samples were taken. 21 individuals were also fitted with GPS beacons to track their movements and determine the areas where they live, eat and rest.

Equipped with their own equipment, OFB agents took advantage of this new mission to train in the capture method developed by NNZST. This transfer of skills will enable OFB to carry out new bird capture campaigns at sea in the future, in complete autonomy.

The 2023 campaign was funded by OFB, the Saint-Nazaire wind farm and Eoliennes in Sea of Yeu and Noirmoutier islands. One campaign per year is planned for the next three years. The campaigns are part of the National Action Plan for the Balearic Shearwater, considered Europe's most endangered seabird.



Credit : Chris Gaskin / NNZST
Densité de présence des individus équipés et trace GPS d’un individu très mobile ( – au 04/09/2023)