Team Blogs

Falkland Islands Seabird Monitoring Programme

counting 4The Falkland Islands Seabird Monitoring Programme has been around, in one form or another, for 24 years. Today, it is an annual event visiting a number of sites around the Falkland Islands to count penguins, albatrosses and petrels. The Programme provides estimates of trends in the numbers of breeding pairs, as well as breeding success, and is critical in understanding what is happening to a number of the globally significant seabird populations supported by the Islands.


 

Habitat Restoration

Saladero Stu Banner


Soil is the most basic of all natural resources, providing nutrients for plants and soil fauna, soaking up rainwater and acting as a long-term store of atmospheric carbon. Peat is the dominant soil type across the Falkland Islands and is globally the densest store of soil carbon. However, peat is also vulnerable to soil erosion and has become a serious problem on the Falklands. Loss of vegetation exposes the peat to erosive winds and, over many years, many areas have completely lost the peaty topsoil revealing deeper clay soil horizons. Natural plant recolonization is slow on eroded soil due to strong winds, semi-arid climatic conditions and the harsh soil substrate. This in turn can have a negative impact on the soil seed bank and growth and the establishment of any emerging plants. Furthermore, there are currently no native seeds commercially available for restoration; only non-native pastoral species are available to landowners and farmers. As part of a 2-year Darwin funded project, we are aiming to enhance the capacity for habitat restoration in the Falklands by using native seeds. This work is a collaborative effort with Millennium Seed Bank Partnership, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and the Natural History Museum in the UK. You can follow the progress of our Habitat Restoration Officer’s activities on this webpage and learn more about Falkland Islands peatlands, native seeds and restoration.


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    The overall objectives of the Habitat Restoration project include:


  • Undertake a large-scale trial to investigate the effectiveness of native plant seeds and restorative techniques on different eroded substrates (including bare clay, peat, sand and failed re-seeds).

  • Build upon previous seed collections and increase the native seed stock by collecting more seeds from West Falklands, which will be cleaned and processed by our project collaborators Millennium Seed Bank.

  • Create a native seed hub where seeds will be reared locally at Stanley Growers, and cleaned and processed on the Islands for local small-scale restoration.

  • Provide guidance for best practice for landowners and farmers undertaking restoration using native seeds.


Download Seed Collecting in the Falkland Islands


 


 


 

King Penguins

KING_PENGUIN_Falkland_IslandsWith the help of the WWF, Falklands Conservation is working toward identifying the critical foraging habitats of Falkland Islands key marine predators. We hope that uncovering these foraging 'hot spots' will ultimately lead to enhanced protection for the amazing marine biodiversity that the Falkland Islands hold.


One key predator that is helping us to uncover foraging hot spots, is the king penguin (Aptenodytes patagonicus).


 

Southern Rockhopper Penguins

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 One of the best loved penguin species in the Falklands – the charismatic southern rockhopper penguin is our logo at Falklands Conservation and our flagship species. You can follow the dedicated research undertaken by Falklands Conservation to learn more about this special penguin.

Wildlife Response

mickypergrine falaconWe respond to small-scale wildlife rescues where we can, often this involves wildlife around the capital - Stanley, where most of the human population is found. We have a small oiled seabird rehabilitation facility in Stanley that deals with low numbers of rescued oiled seabirds, particulalrly penguins. We do not have facilities to deal with all cases of rescued wildlife - please call our offices if you have any concerns regarding wildlife. 


Our philosophy with wildlife is to let nature take its course and not to disturb. However when man-made threats (such as oil pollution or marine debris) impact on wildlife we try to reduce the impacts to the best of our ability.


There are no facilities to deal with seals at the Falklands. Often young seals can get separated from their mums or weaned individuals that are just learning to be self-reliant are found on beaches near to Stanley. The best approach is to not disturb the animal. Please consider whether the animal looks like it really does need any intervention before calling our offices - we often are not able to respond as we don't have facilities or expertise to look after young seals. In some cases nature has to take charge.