Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

Puffins ‘hit hard’ by last winter’s storms

Published

on

Seafood snack: Adult Puffin with his lunch

Seafood snack: Adult Puffin with his lunch

AS the first storms of the winter turn the Atlantic into a gargantuan washing machine, research is revealing the harsh consequences of last winter’s storms for seabirds in Wales. Dr Matt Wood, from the University of Gloucestershire, is helping to uncover the consequences for thousands of puffins on Skomer Island, in Wales. Around 50,000 dead seabirds, including puffins, guillemots and razorbills, were washed ashore in a severely emaciated state – they’d basically starved as storm after storm prevented them from catching enough fish to eat.

With unknown numbers dying out at sea, this was the biggest seabird wreck recorded in Europe. By the end of 2014’s breeding season, the numbers of adult puffins returning breed was down by 25% on the previous year: a quarter of the puffins on Skomer and Skokholm islands may have died, around 5,000 birds. “Puffins typically live in large island colonies, seabird cities if you like,” said Dr Wood. “Now take a city like Cardiff and imagine what would happen if a quarter of people didn’t come back after the Christmas holidays, by mid-January things would be going seriously wrong, and it looks like that’s what happened to the puffins”.

Field assistant Ros Green found that Skomer puffins bred unusually late, their chicks hatching two weeks later than usual and being fed at only a third of the rate in 2013. As a result, breeding success dropped markedly by 25%, with only just over half of puffin pairs raising a chick. This was the worst year on record for puffins on Skomer, in the 43 years of the study (since 1972).

“The long-term seabird studies on Skomer are an amazing resource. One of the puffins that was still around until recently was first seen in 1973, the year I was born,” Matt said. “With studies like this, with birds we know and study as individuals, we can understand how populations work in the detail we need to face the challenges of the future.

Will more storms impact seabird populations? I’d say ‘probably, yes’, but it’ll take us years to get a true picture of what happened in 2014, and only long-term monitoring at key sites like Skomer can provide reliable answers to questions like that.” Long-lived seabirds like puffins can take a gap year if times are tough, but Matt believes that the numbers of birds washed up dead on beaches last winter are little cause for optimism.

Matt added: “Seabird wrecks are not unprecedented, these are tough little birds that can usually cope with a storm, but forecasts of global climate change predict that these extreme storms will become bigger and more frequent. The effects of the recent seabird wreck will only become clear over the next five to ten years: longterm studies are vital to understand how the populations will cope in the Seafood snack: Adult Puffin with his lunch long-term”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Rider of a motorbike taken to hospital following collision with a car

Published

on

A COLLISION which involved a car and a motorbike on Friday afternoon (Jun 18) saw one person being transferred to hospital.

Dyfed-Powys Police have confirmed that the collision, which happened at approximately 1.17pm at Dwrbach, Scleddau, involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike.

The Herald understands that the accident happened at a junction near The Gate Inn public house.

The incident caused the road to be closed while emergency services dealt with the situation.

The rider of the motorbike was transferred to Glangwili Hospital for treatment.

A Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police attended a two vehicle road traffic collision which occurred in Scleddau, Fishguard early Friday afternoon, June18th 2021.

“The collision involved a white Seat Ibiza and a black Suzuki motorbike. The rider of the motorbike was taken to hospital.

“The road was closed for emergency services to deal with the collision.”

A rapid response vehicle and an ambulance were dispatched to the scene.

A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesperson said: “We were called to attend a road traffic collision involving a motorcycle at Dwrbach, Fishguard at 1.17pm on Friday 18 June. We sent one rapid response vehicle and one emergency ambulance. One patient was taken to Glangwili Hospital for further treatment.”

Continue Reading

News

Residents urged to be alert to Covid-19 symptoms following cluster of cases

Published

on

PUBLIC HEALTH WALES, Pembrokeshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board are urging members of the public to be alert to COVID-19 symptoms following the identification of a cluster of cases in the Tenby area.

The 22 confirmed cases are linked to social and sporting events and local schools and have generated a large number of contactssince the first cases were confirmed on Saturday, 12 June. 

A number of individuals, including pupils, are currently isolating and close contacts of the positive cases continue to be traced.

From Monday 21 June to Sunday 4 July, a mobile testing unit will be available for local residents in and around Tenby to access if they have symptoms.

This is based at Salterns Car Park, Marsh Road, Tenby, SA70 8DU.  To book a test visit the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ring 119.

Residents can protect themselves and others from Coronavirus by remaining at least two metres away from everyone else, washing their hands regularly, and by wearing a face covering where required. 

The virus disperses in a well ventilated environment, so opening windows and allowing fresh air to circulate is another way to keep ourselves safe.

Residents should take up the vaccine when offered, and self-isolate and get a test if they or anyone in their household develop symptoms.

As well as the three most common symptoms of Coronavirus – a fever, a new continuous cough, or a loss/change of taste and smell – people with any of the following, wider symptoms that are persistent and/or unusual for them are also strongly encouraged to get a PCR test:

  • Mild summer cold symptoms – including sore throat, runny nose, headache
  • Flu-like symptoms, including myalgia (muscle ache or pain); excessive tiredness; persistent headache; runny nose or blocked nose; persistent sneezing; sore throat and/or hoarseness, shortness of breath or wheezing
  • Generally feeling unwell and a history of being in contact with a known COVID-19 case
  • Any new or change in symptoms following a previous negative test

If you have any of the above symptoms, even if you have been vaccinated, please stay home and book a PCR test through the UK portal https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or ringing 119.

When booking your PCR test, you will also be asked about your symptoms: if you have wider summer cold or flu-like symptoms as described above, rather than the classic three symptoms, choose ‘None of these symptoms’ and then choose one of the following options to enable you to complete the booking:

• My local council or health protection team has asked me to get a test, even though I do not have symptoms or

• A GP or other healthcare professional has asked me to get a test.

Continue Reading

News

Paul Davies submits views to Health Board Consultation

Published

on

Senedd Member Paul Davies has fed his views into Hywel Dda University Health Board’s consultation, “Building a Healthier Future after Covid-19.”

In response to the Health Board’s proposals, Mr Davies has made it clear that he opposes any movements to centralise or downgrade services at Withybush hospital.

Mr Davies said, “I cannot emphasise how important this consultation is and so I’d urge everyone across Pembrokeshire to read through the Health Board’s proposals and make their views known. In my submission, I’ve made it crystal clear that the people of Pembrokeshire should not have to travel further for vital health services.

“I want to see Hywel Dda start prioritising Pembrokeshire by investing in services at Withybush hospital so that it can support people living and working across the county.

“There’s still time to feed into the consultation and have your say on the Health Board’s plans. The deadline is Monday, June 21 and you can find more information here – https://www.haveyoursay.hduhb.wales.nhs.uk/building-a-healthier-future-after-covid-19.” 

Continue Reading
News8 hours ago

Residents urged to be alert to Covid-19 symptoms following cluster of cases

PUBLIC HEALTH WALES, Pembrokeshire County Council and Hywel Dda University Health Board are urging members of the public to be...

News9 hours ago

Paul Davies submits views to Health Board Consultation

Senedd Member Paul Davies has fed his views into Hywel Dda University Health Board’s consultation, “Building a Healthier Future after...

News1 day ago

Reminder from Pembrokeshire Coast National Park to pre-book for attractions

MEMBERS of the public are being reminded to pre-book their entry tickets before visiting two popular National Park Authority-run attractions....

News1 day ago

Haverfordwest and Cardigan high streets listed as among the ten worst in Britain

TWO west Wales high streets have been listed in a UK wide report detailing Britain’s worst high streets. In the...

News3 days ago

Lifeboats and chopper in major air sea rescue off the coast of Tenby

TWO RNLI lifeboats from both Tenby and Angle stations have been launched to assist a coastguard helicopter which has been...

News4 days ago

Organisers urged to read guidance on holding Covid-aware events

ORGANISERS planning to hold events in Pembrokeshire are being urged to read guidance published by the Welsh Government. The Welsh...

News4 days ago

Four men arrested as armed police swoop on Hubberston address

ARMED police and specialist dog handlers swooped on an address in Hubberston, Milford Haven on Wednesday night (Jun 16). The...

News5 days ago

Heatherton expansion approved

• Committee overturns officers’ objections • Economic benefits outweigh other impacts • Conditions must not delay development THE COUNCIL’s Planning...

News5 days ago

Milford Haven: Christmas cosmetics thief caged

A MIDLANDS shop lifter caught stealing £2200 worth of cosmetics and skin care products from Boots in Milford Haven just...

News6 days ago

Major blaze destroys well known Tenby chip shop

EMERGENCY services have sealed off part of Tenby following a major fire at a chip shop. Fire fighters rushed to...

Popular This Week