2019 - 2020
On the Edge
On display at the University of Stirling, 'On the Edge' aims to showcase the beauty and diversity of our seabirds whilst highlighting the pressures they face and the importance of long-term monitoring in wildlife conservation.
Many of the UK’s seabird colonies have faced huge population changes over recent years due to invasive species, by-catch, pollution, habitat loss, overfishing and climate change. It would be impossible to see these trends without long-term monitoring, and unless we continue to study our colonies, we won’t understand the impacts of these pressures or the effectiveness of conservation actions. However, the value of long-term monitoring is often undervalued, underfunded and overlooked yet it is fundamental for all aspects of wildlife conservation; how can we work to conserve something we don’t understand?
Since the 1960’s our seabird colonies have undergone a national census every 15 years or so, whereby every single breeding seabird in the UK is counted. This allows us to see the bigger picture of how our seabirds are faring. Seabirds Count, the fourth national census, is currently underway and thanks to the huge efforts of surveyors, many of whom are volunteers, this should be complete by the end of 2020.