Birds Favoured Over Rats on Isles of Scilly
Conservationists on the tiny archipelago of the Isles of Scilly, in the Atlantic 28 miles to the southwest of Cornwall, have revealed plans to rid the islands of rodents in order to save the bird population. Tony Whitehead, local spokesperson for the RSPB, claims that the bird population of the islands fell by over 25% in between 1983 and 2006 due to the rat population of the islands. "The availability of food is a major problem but the rats are also having a significant impact on birdlife," said Whitehead. For example, two of the species of birds most under threat of extinction are the storm petrel and the manx shearwater because they nest in burrows and so their eggs are highly vulnerable to hungry rats. Everybody on the islands has been asked about the project and have all backed it in order to save the birds.