Seabird Heroes


WHAT will be done


Seabird Heroes


Malta is an important place for many wildlife species, especially the Yelkouan Shearwater, a small seabird species listed as ‘vulnerable’ by the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species, having only a small range based in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean region.

The Maltese Islands are home to approximately 10% of the global population of this seabird species, therefore their protection is important on the global scale, especially with drastic declines of Yelkouan Shearwaters recorded over recent decades.

BirdLife Malta has an EU-funded project ‘LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija’ that aims at securing the Maltese Islands for the Yelkouan Shearwater. These seabirds face several threats, including alien invasive species such as rats that eat the eggs and chicks of the seabirds. This is a major threat as it causes a reduction in the reproductive success and population size of the Yelkouan Shearwaters. Rats are attracted and maintained near the colonies by littering left by visitors, especially organic food waste.

Non-biodegradable waste such as plastics, littered on land can be washed off into the sea. Large debris (macro-plastics) can cause entanglement and external injury to marine life including Yelkouan Shearwaters. Recently there has been increasing focus on micro-plastics (smaller than 5mm), which can end up in the food chain, building up inside prey items (bioaccumulation) or mistaken as prey by shearwaters causing internal injury or poisoning, increasing mortalities in colonies.

BirdLife Malta’s LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija project will carry out a campaign to raise awareness about littering near the colonies in the aim to encourage the public to recycle, reuse and clean-up! The campaign will mainly involve an engagement event and digital tools to raise awareness.

17th November 2018
The event will take place at L-Irdum tal-Madonna, the largest Yelkouan Shearwater colony in the Maltese Islands, hosting around 500 breeding pairs. Along this coastal region is also one of the few camping areas in Malta (l-Aħrax), were there is a large accumulation of waste through litter and over flowing bins. The event will be divided into two parts:
• A clean-up around the colony and camping area.
• Promote reusable equipment and utensils rather than singe use plastics, BBQ etc.
• Raise awareness that campers should take their waste back home with them, where it can disposed of properly (recycling, organic, etc.)
• Training and empowering people to become seabird activists. People will be given the information and tools (social media pack) to spread the information through word of mouth, social media and take clean-up action themselves.

Social Media Competition
Members of the public post photos or videos of themselves cleaning the areas near the colonies; disposing their waste responsibly; using re-usable utensils at a picnic, camping or outdoors event. They will also be able to participate at the competition if they use our social media pack to raise awareness. To enter the competition, they will use the hashtag #SeabirdHeroes on social media and the winner randomly selected. As a thank you, the winner will receive two tickets for next year’s Shearwater Boat Trip, a popular LIFE Arċipelagu Garnija activity.

Raise awareness about food waste to the general public
We will spread the message about the initiative, including information about littering and its impact, the event and the competition through social media and email. The aim of this will be to engage the public to take action themselves and have a long-term impact for both the wildlife and the countryside users of Malta.


WHERE it will take place




Ta' Xbiex
Abate Rigord Street
57 / 28 Marina Court
XBX 1120

Action Developer

WHO will run the show


BirdLife Malta
# Association/NGO

How can you get in contact:

Tel: 00356 79867284


will it happen?

Dates of the proposed action:

17/11/2018, 18/11/2018, 19/11/2018, 20/11/2018, 21/11/2018, 22/11/2018, 23/11/2018, 24/11/2018, 25/11/2018


join hands and minds to prevent waste?

Check out other actions that will cover these themes:

Clean-up actionsReuse and preparing for reuseWaste sorting and recycling

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