Simon Jones reports that a conservation invention— seabird nest boxes—championed by Bermudian environmentalist David Wingate has gone global. In Bermuda, these boxes have helped rebuild the Bermuda petrel (or Cahow, see photo above) population in Bermuda; now they are going to be used in Hawaii. Bermuda-born Andre Raine will use the nests to help with a translocation project involving Newell’s Shearwater birds (see photo below).
The seabird nest boxes that Dr. Wingate designed have already proved to be a huge success helping to rebuild Cahow numbers in Bermuda.
Now another island has moved to take advantage of the plastic nest boxes, which are dug into the ground. Hawaii’s seabird conservation office, Andre Raine, has ordered 50 of the nests to help with a translocation project involving Newell’s Shearwater birds.
“They have worked well in Bermuda,” Dr Wingate said. “We took our first batch of 50 earlier in the Spring and have been using them with the translocation programme at Non Such Island. “We also have plans to continue to distribute them this fall in Non Such and perhaps Southampton Island.”
Dr Wingate first began to look at manufacturing seabird nest boxes back in 1995 in a bid to cut costs and time. Since then he has forged a partnership with a factory in California that industrially produces the polyethylene boxes.
“Andre Raine was born in Bermuda and we have been in contact for some time,” the former conservation officer said. “He co-ordinates the seabird conservation programme in Hawaii and thought the boxes would be an ideal for a translocation project he is working on at the moment. “So he contacted me and ordered 50 of the boxes.” The 50 seabird nest boxes arrived in Hawaii last week.
For full article, see http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20141011/NEWS/141019955
Photo (and more information on David Wingate) from http://www.yachtmollymawk.com/2010/12/bermuda-david-wingate/