Research Work: Skomer Island Archive

Skomer Island is well known for its wildlife: around half the world's population of Manx shearwaters nest on the island, the Atlantic puffin colony is the largest in southern Britain, and the Skomer vole (a subspecies of the bank vole) is unique to the island.

Skomer Island is the most suitable site for research work of this nature in south-west Britain. It is a National Nature Reserve managed by The Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales (WTSWW) under a lease from Natural Resources Wales (NRW). Not only is Skomer the most important seabird colony in southern Britain, but the waters around the island were designated as a Marine Nature Reserve (MNR) in 1991 and became Wales’ first Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) in 2014. Skomer also lies within the Skomer, Skokholm and the Seas off Pembrokeshire Special Protection Area (SPA), designated for its seabird interest.

Seabird monitoring fits within a broader framework of monitoring marine and terrestrial organisms on and around the island. There is an impressive data set for seabirds on Skomer. This is especially important for species such as seabirds with long periods of immaturity and high adult survival rates.
The Wildlife Trust has been monitoring seabirds on the island since the early 1960s. Additional detailed studies (annual adult survival rates, breeding success and other aspects of seabird ecology) of particular species have been carried out for many years by other bodies, including long-term studies of shearwaters, auks and gulls, the long-term study of Common Guillemot population dynamics, and studies on the migration strategies of seabirds.

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