This is the season when migratory seabirds, such as terns and gulls, return to the Grenadines islands to nest. This abundance of birds, that may number in the thousands, unfortunately attracts poachers who collect eggs and chicks from these nesting colonies. Community surveys have shown that this harvesting is not typically a necessary source of income or food for people. Instead, it is carried out when convenient, such as when harvesters are already fishing nearby. Although there are laws prohibiting seabird harvest, enforcement agencies lack the resources to patrol these remote offshore island seabird nesting sites. To educate the community and combat illegal poaching, EPIC produced a Public Service Announcement (PSA) “Conserving Grenadine Seabirds” which explains the many threats these declining populations of seabirds are facing.
This PSA aired on several radio stations and online media platforms in April and May during the peak nesting period. The PSA also highlights actions that anyone can take to help seabirds survive for the benefit of future generations, such as:
- Never take or destroy seabird chicks or eggs, it is illegal and has a high impact because many birds only lay one egg per year,
- Avoid throwing or losing trash in the ocean because it washes up on seabird nesting islands and may cause entanglement, can be swallowed, and fouls nests,
- Avoid disturbance that causes birds to fly up off the nest which can cause the eggs or chicks to die from sun exposure.