For another year the Adeje council through the department of the environment, are organising a ‘Nights without Lights for the Cory’s Shearwater’, promoted by the Tenerife.
The nights in question are November 2nd and 3rd, from 10pm to 1am, as these are the days where a large number of young birds are taking their first flight over the sea. The Cory’s Shearwater has actually been declared Bird of the Year 2013 by SEO/Bird Life, and is a bird that lives on the high seas only returning to dry land to breed. They build their nests in caves or cliff niches, with the chicks taking their first tentative flights at night at this time of year, particularly when there is a new moon. The reason we are being asked to reduce or eliminate night lights is that the young birds are easily disoriented and can fly off their path and crash.
This Nights without Lights is, according to councillor Esther Rivero Vargas, “a preservation and conservation campaign for this species which is resident in our borough, and we would ask for the co-operation of as many people as possible in reducing the intensity of the lights in the zones where these birds live and nest and fly, fundamentally in the parts of Adeje close to the cliffs and coasts, although a small number of the birds may also make their way in-land.”
The councillor says they have also prepared an information pack for hotels in the area asking for their co-operation, and are sure that the positive response will be as good as in previous years.
There is a protocol to follow if you find one of these young Cory’s Shearwaters lost or injured – call the Policía Local it its night time or the Protección Civil de Adeje if its daytime.. Alternatively you can contact the Centro de Recuperación de Fauna Silvestre, ‘La Tahonilla’, (922 445 777) which is Cabildo operated, and they have the personnel to treat any injured bird and release it back into wild when appropriate.
According to last year’s statistics, the Policía Local recovered 115 Cory’s Shearwaters in 2012, 221 in 2011 and 204 the year before that. While there is no mention of whether the campaign last year led to the reduction in the number of injured young birds, it would indicate that the campaign definitely has some affect.