Published: 8 December 2014 at 10:50
Martyna and Filipa help to rescue confused seabirds on west coast of Scotland
Migrating seabirds have been given a helping hand on their journey to South America by two Anglia Ruskin University students.
Life Sciences students Martyna Syposz and Filipa Goncalves spent some of this autumn in Mallaig, where they assisted local volunteers in rescuing Manx shearwaters.
Mallaig, a small port on the west coast of Scotland, is just 18 miles from the island of Rum, which hosts the second largest colony of Manx shearwaters in the world.
The birds migrate thousands of miles from Rum to South America each autumn, but some disorientated juveniles don’t make it any further than the mainland.
One theory is that young birds are blown in the direction of Mallaig due to their inexperience in the air, and are then confused by light pollution. The seabirds start to circuit above the buildings, become fatigued and eventually crash.
Fellow student Filipa said:
The students heard about the local volunteer project – run by Martin Carty – thanks to Anglia Ruskin’s links with the area. The Life Sciences department has been taking field trips to Rum every year since 2001.
Dr Peter Brown, Senior Lecturer in Zoology at Anglia Ruskin, said: