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Portugal. In Madeira, street lights have been turned off for the sake of the birds

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In Madeira, most street lights were turned off for several hours on Monday evening. This is to help migrating birds reach the Selvagens Islands. The yellow-billed shearwater is the species that migrates most frequently towards this Portuguese archipelago located near the Canary Islands.

As explained by the management of the Portuguese Society for the Study of Birds (SPEA), Monday’s initiative called “Night with Life” aims to facilitate the migration of seabird species for which the Atlantic Ocean is a natural habitat outside the breeding season.

According to SPEA biologists, the “darkening” of Madeira helps birds heading towards the Selvagens Islands, a Portuguese archipelago located in the Atlantic between Madeira and the Canary Islands. The main species migrating towards the Selvagens Islands is the yellow-billed shearwater. According to Portuguese ornithologists, the number of its specimens in this archipelago exceeds 40,000.

Yellow-billed shearwaterShutterstock

The light scatters and blinds the birds

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Experts explain that street light distracts birds or blinds them. Similar initiatives have also been implemented in the past in other parts of Portugal, including the Azores. Street lighting, as assured by the authorities of the autonomous region of Madeira, should be restored on Monday shortly before midnight.

As part of the initiative, four municipalities of the island, including the capital of Madeira, Funchal, also planned to collect funds for nature conservation organizations.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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