Sheep island
Sheep island

Hello and welcome to the first Biosecurity for LIFE project update! It has certainly been a busy first year since the project commenced and we’re really excited to be able to start providing you with more regular insights into the exciting world of UK island biosecurity.

For those of you for which this is the first foray into the world of island biosecurity, welcome! So what is it and why is it important? 

The UK is home to roughly 8 million breeding seabirds, almost 50% of the seabirds which occur in the EU! Twenty-five species breed here, 13 of which breed in globally important numbers. These include 90% of the world's Manx shearwater, nearly 70% of the world’s Northern gannet population and 60% of the world's great skua.  Seabirds often choose to nest on islands with no land predators and as such are especially vulnerable to the introduction of non-native predators. These include brown rats, stoat and American mink amongst others.

The importance of our islands for seabirds is reflected by the UK having 42 of them designated especially for their internationally important numbers of breeding seabirds. From the Isles of Scilly to St Kilda, the Biosecurity for LIFE project is working with land managers, island communities and visitors to ensure that these special places continue to provide seabirds with safe places to breed. Biosecurity is all about prevention. Continuing to give our seabirds safe places to breed by preventing invasive non-native species from reaching their island homes. And this is what the Biosecurity for LIFE project has at its heart. 

Save Our Seabirds from Invasive Predators

In May, the project partners, RSPB, National Trust for Scotland and National Trust launched our flagship Save Our Seabirds from Invasive Predators campaign aimed at informing visitors to the islands about the importance of biosecurity is and the practical measures that can be taken to prevent any unwanted stowaways hitching a lift. From checking your bag before you board a boat to ensuring that all food is stored in rodent proof containers, we can all do our bit for seabirds! For more information on the campaign and the project plus how you can help please visit our website https://biosecurityforlife.org.uk/

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November 2019

November update

Welcome to the Biosecurity for LIFE November update. The exciting news from the last month is the team reaching full strength! We are really pleased to welcome Sarah Lawrence - who has come to us after spending the summer out on St Kilda monitoring seabirds - as the Biosecurity Officer for West and Central Scotland and Northern England. With everyone in place we are now able to deliver the project across all our seabird island SPAs and really focus on improving biosecurity. Read on to find out what has been happening across the UK.

October 2019

A view from the North

Afra Skene is the project’s Biosecurity Officer in Orkney and Shetland, which between them hold some of the UK’s largest seabird colonies. Here Afra shares some of the exciting progress being made in what are some of the most remote and spectacular locations in the country.

October 2019

Biosecurity in Wales and Northern Ireland

Tessa Coledale is the Biosecurity Officer covering the wonderfully diverse seabird islands of Wales and Northern Ireland.

Illustration of birds

Contact Us

If you’d like more information or would like to report a sighting of an invasive predator please contact us using the form below: