Support us Appeals Homes for Shearwaters Homes for Shearwaters Thank you so much for the wonderful support for our Homes for Shearwaters appeal. We're delighted to have exceeded our target. Every penny given will go towards our shearwater work, from the work now completed on Annet, to further monitoring and maintenance there, or habitat management work on St Helen's, St Agnes, Gugh and the Eastern Isles (all of which also support nesting shearwaters). Manx shearwaters are a vital part of what makes Scilly special. By day they can be seen flying low over the sea. At night they come ashore to their nest burrows on remote islands. Our Manx shearwater population on St Agnes, Gugh and Annet has been increasing since rats were eradicated in 2016. However, Dr Vickie Heaney, our seabird ecologist, is concerned about competition for nest sites. On her annual monitoring visits she has even been finding freshly-laid shearwater eggs which have been ejected from burrows after dominant shearwaters have moved in. We have an international responsibility for the Manx shearwater – 80% of the world’s population breeds in the UK. Annet is a perfect island for them – but the ram (the island’s hard granitic subsoil) makes it very hard for them to dig their own nest holes. Thanks to your help we can step in and make a difference. Colonies on Lundy and the Pembrokeshire islands have really benefited from artificial nest boxes. By doing that on Annet, we can allow the colony to grow faster. Today the shearwater population in the Isles of Scilly is only a thousandth of what it was in the 19th Century. We have a long way to go to enable the population level to return to its historic height. These boxes have inspection hatches. This will enable us to confirm burrow occupation, whilst opening up all kinds of monitoring possibilities so we can better understand these ocean wanderers. Thanks to the success of this appeal, we have now installed 35 nest boxes, fitting four with cameras so we can stream nesting shearwaters online. Our incredible volunteers have helped us do this work, but the costs of infra-red cameras, materials, staff time and boating has been over £14,000. This work will be an integral part of our long-term seabird strategy, which extends from managing the habitat of their nesting grounds to influencing future marine developments. We have been incredibly grateful to the generous support from the many individual donors, the Isles of Scilly Bird Group, the Margaret and John Campbell Charitable Trust, the Isles of Scilly AONB (funded by government from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) and Tevi (from the European Regional Development Fund).