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News & Press: Environment News

DEFRA Safeguards Seabirds with New and Extended Protection Areas

04 December 2017   (0 Comments)

One quarter of the UK’s breeding population of little terns will benefit from protection.

DEFRA has created two new marine protection areas to safeguard rare seabirds and extended four others.

Environment minister Thérèse Coffey announced the new marine special protection areas (SPAs) on 3 December, bringing the total number in the UK to 106.

The designations will help fulfil part of the UK’s duty under the EU Birds Directive to safeguard migratory and vulnerable bird species and create a network of protected areas.

The first site will run along a 24-mile stretch of coast from Falmouth Bay to St Austell in Cornwall, an important site for the wintering black-throated diver.

The second SPA takes in the Irish Sea between the Isle of Man and Anglesea which is home to more than 12,000 Manx shearwaters.

Coffey also announced extensions to existing SPAs at Liverpool Bay, Poole Harbour and the outer Thames estuary.

The designations will mean less disturbance to the feeding areas and habitats upon which the birds rely and will help safeguard the feeding grounds of over one quarter of the UK’s breeding population of little terns.

The extended ‘blue belt’ would protect the little tern, Sandwich tern and common tern – all of which are showing declines in the size or range of their breeding populations.

The sites include the first SPA in the UK for wintering black-throated divers, great northern divers and Eurasian spoonbills and the first offshore SPA to protect the feeding grounds of Manx shearwater.

News from ENDS Report.

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