Youngsters mobilise to highlight climate change bird threat
The threat posed by climate change to migratory birds was highlighted by fifty young members of the Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles last weekend as they took part in a series of interactive activities at the Cap Ternay mudflats.
Five Wildlife Clubs took part in the day’s activities, which were run by a combination of Wildlife Clubs and Nature Seychelles staff.
The international theme for the 2007 World Migratory Bird Day was “Migratory Birds in a Changing Climate,” a theme chosen to draw attention to the effects climate change will have, and is already having, both on bird migration and animal behaviour.
“Climate change will effect when and where birds migrate. The altered patterns of bird migration will have impacts on both the ecosystem they fly from and the ecosystems they fly to,” said Terence Vel.
“As climate change-induced sea level rise occurs so low lying mud flats – such as Cap Ternay – may be flooded and the plants and animals they support will be lost.”
The Cap Ternay site has recently been leased by Emirates Airline for the construction of a large, luxury tourism resort. During their visit to the area the Wildlife Club members discussed how they would be able to work alongside the hotel developers to ensure that the development takes place in the most environmentally friendly manner possible and ensure that the area is still accessible to conservationists.
“Part of the site is currently managed by the Seychelles Centre for Marine Research and Technology (SCMRT) who have always been very willing to assist the Wildlife Clubs with activities at Cap Ternay. We sincerely hope that the new managers of the site will also recognise its environmental importance and its vital use as an environmental education resource for Seychelles,” said Ms Bastienne.
The Wildlife Clubs of Seychelles-organised World Migratory Bird Day activities grouped WCS members from the organisation’s western and central regions, covering schools from Port Glaud, Grand Anse, La Misere, La Rosiere and Bel Eau.
The World Migratory Bird Day activities were aimed at taking an interactive, learning-by-doing approach to educating the club members and included bird watching, mangrove surveys, beach hikes, games and discussions about the birds and their environment.