Life Puffinus Tavolara

The Tavolara archipelago is one of the most important areas for the protection of biodiversity in the Mediterranean, as it has exceptionally favourable conditions for plants and animal species of conservation interest, including seabirds. Tavolara hosts one of the four species of tubenose that breed in the Mediterranean, the Yelkouan Shearwater (Puffinus yelkouan), whose conservation status has recently been re-assessed as “vulnerable”. An estimated 9,991 – 13,424 pairs of Yelkouan Shearwaters nest on Tavolara, about 50% of the world population, estimated at 15,337 – 30,519 pairs. Tavolara is thus crucially important for its conservation at the global level. The Yelkouan Shearwater nests that were monitored in 2006-2011 were predated by rats. Having been introduced by humans to island ecosystems, by eating eggs and chicks rats are able to bring the breeding productivity of the entire population of this and other species down to zero. In order to ensure the conservation of Yelkouan Shearwaters, local institutions, with the contribution of the European Union’s financial tool LIFE, implemented the Life Puffinus Tavolara project.