SPEA at Flores Island: starting point to a species future
May 26 to 31 marked the beginning of one more field work season for SPEA team, targeting the Monteiro’s Storm-petrel Hydrobates monteiroi breeding population. Only last year, this endemic seabird of the Azores archipelago was confirmed to breed at Alagoa islets (Flores island). A 2 days expedition headed to a new site - Maria Vaz islet - resulted in 19 calls of Monteiro’s Storm-petrel recorded. Next year, the team intend to confirm this new breeding site by placing automatic recording units and develop some ground prospection. A second aim of our visit was to present the 1st draft of the Species Action Plan together with the Head of Flores Island Natural Park. This same Action Plan will be under discussion from 22 to 23 June in Graciosa Island during the foreseen Monteiroi Taskforce meeting.
LIFE EuroSAP was the starting point to two new projects: Interreg MAC acronym LuMinAves (Light contamination and conservation of Macaronesian archipelagos reducing the harmful effects of artificial light on seabird populations) and MISTIC SEAS II (Applying a subregional coherent and coordinated approach to the monitoring and assessment of marine biodiversity in Macaronesia for the second cycle of the MSFD).
Updated baseline data still missing though. The population size estimate has near 20 years now. In order to fill this gap, we intend to estimate the population size using several approaches, namely by automatic recording units (correlate the number of calls with the number of nests/breeding pairs) and capture/recapture methods. This updated is crucial to support a properly management of this important species which is a symbol of Azorean Biosphere Reserves.
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