Warning of serious decline in seabird numbers

VISITORS to a wildlife project in Seaford have the chance to help campaign for government action to protect marine wildlife.

The RSPB is gathering signatures for a Marine Pledge at its Date with Nature project at Splash Point on the seafront.

The pledge calls for government action to protect seabirds, and can also be signed online at www.rspb.org.uk/steppingup/campaign.

The star of the project is a seabird called the Kittiwake, which is breeding successfully this year at Seaford, but is declining overall across the UK.

Kittiwakes nest and raise chicks on the cliffs at Seaford every summer after spending months out at sea.

Kate Whitton, who runs the project, said, “The threat to Kittiwakes and many other seabirds is a shortage of food, and we’re contributing to that with climate change and over-fishing, which are causing enormous change in the marine environment.

“It’s not just seabirds that are affected, but the whole marine food web, with much of the life under the surface of the ocean disappearing.

“Given that so many species, including humans, depend on the sea for food, we should be treating the decline in seabirds like Kittiwakes as a serious warning.

“By coming along to the project and signing the marine pledge, or doing so online, you’ll be helping push for action to safeguard our sea life.”

The RSPB will be based at Splash Point every day between 10am and 4.30 pm until August 7.

Staff and volunteers will be present to answer questions and help visitors to view the birds using binoculars and spotting-scopes.

There is no entry charge and use of the equipment is free.