The Leach's storm-petrel (LESP) is a nocturnal seabird listed as "Vulnerable" in 2016 by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. Newfoundland alone hosts more than 25% of the world population, and this population has dramatically declined since the 1980's. Therefore, it is critical to protect this species at a provincial level. Light pollution is one of the main threats faced by the species. Every year, thousands of LESP are attracted to artificial lights onshore, causing them to collide with human infrastructures. Once grounded, they become vulnerable to predation and road collision, making their chances of survival without human help close to zero. The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS), already take actions to rescue land-stranded LESP with the help of Newfoundland citizens. In 2021, more than 2300 stranded LESP were found across the province. This is likely to be a very small fraction of the total amount of LESP land-stranded by light. During Fall 2021, a fallout of ~1000 LESP was observed in Bay de Verde, NL, during a single night. It was the first time a fallout of this amplitude was recorded, but this phenomenon could be happening regularly and be undetected. This fund will allow us to expand on the current rescue efforts by further developing a network of volunteers across the province, and train them to rescue LESP. In addition to the rescue activities, volunteers will further contribute to LESP conservation by conducting systematic monitoring for stranded LESP, and by collecting valuable data for MUN and government researchers to better understand the impact of artificial light on LESP.
Environment and climate change Canada - Canadian wildlife services
The Rock Wildlife Rescue Inc.