Seabirds thriving on Lundy


There are more seabirds nesting on Lundy than at any time since the 1930s, it has been revealed.

Conservationists have revealed that the tiny island in the Bristol Channel is now home to some 25,000 Manx Shearwaters – 95% of England's breeding population – as well as 1,335 Puffins and more than 150 pairs of European Storm Petrel, a species that only arrived on the island in 2014.

Manx Shearwater is thriving on Lundy, as are other seabird species (Christian Vandeputte).

Despite the recent threat of bird flu and the problematic decline in wild sources of food such as sandeels, the total number of seabirds on Lundy stood at 40,000 this summer – representing a remarkable turnaround after only 7,351 birds remained in 2000. Puffins were close to extinction, with only 13 counted in 2001.

However, a drive to remove rats from the island has helped numbers to rebound. Paul St Pierre, a conservation officer for the RSPB, said: "Partnership projects like this show just how much potential there is to restore species and landscapes on an incredible scale.

"If we can restore over 30,000 birds to one small island in the Bristol Channel, just imagine how much could be achieved if everyone came together to restore nature right across the UK."

Derek Green, general manager of Lundy, commented: "We're delighted by the dramatic increase of seabirds on Lundy in recent years. Conservation is at the heart of everything we do on the island and we look forward to continuing to nurture this very special place for future generations to enjoy."