‘Heartbreaking’: RSPB criticizes nets on buildings, including Papa John and BT’s pizza in Lowestoft, preventing kittiwakes from reaching nesting sites
Unlike other species of gulls, hardcore kittiwakes do not load and spend the winter at sea, hunting increasingly rare sand eels in the maelstrom of the wild North Atlantic Ocean, where overfishing is impacting supplies. vital food for birds.
After a harsh winter, some have now returned to land in the spring, only to find nets stretched to block access to vital nesting sites.
Images of birds trying, or failing, to reach ledges to nest, sparked a critical response on social media, with the RSPB describing the situation as “heartbreaking.”
The organization is calling on businesses and tenants in Lowestoft, Suffolk, to remove the net and allow rare birds to nest on coastal buildings.
Among the buildings covered with netting are the premises of a Papa John’s pizzeria and a BT building.
Kittens have a red conservation status, which means they are “globally threatened”, and their numbers are collapsing due to increasing human pressure on the natural world.
The UK is home to some of the most important nesting sites for the species, and globally kittiwakes are among the UK’s most important birds.
Martin Fowlie of the RSPB said The independent: “Lowestoft is home to one of only two kittiwake colonies in Suffolk.
“Kittiwake numbers have declined 40 percent globally since the 1970s, and Lowestoft provides a vital home for these globally vulnerable birds both locally and nationally.
“It is heartbreaking to see so many buildings in Lowestoft covered in netting to prevent these magnificent rare birds from nesting and raising their young.
“We cannot keep trying to squeeze nature into ever smaller spaces or demand that it match our plans when we are in a natural and climate emergency.”
He added: “This is why the RSPB is calling on building owners and tenants in Lowestoft, including BT and Papa Johns, to remove the nets from their property and give the kittens the space to raise their young. .
Springwatch presenter and naturalist Chris Packham said, “What the hell are you playing at @PapaJohnsUK @BT_UK?
“We’ve had this conversation before!” Kittiwakes are a Red Listed species, you should be delighted to see them nesting on your building!
The RSPB also said it could offer advice on how to safely remove the nets.
But BT said The independent they were to prevent birds from nesting on the building.
A BT spokesperson said: “We have a legal responsibility to ensure that the 999 network remains operational at all times, as well as other critical telecommunications networks.
“Unfortunately, if we did not prevent birds from nesting on the building, we would not be able to access the roof space for maintenance – not only of the building structure, but also of the satellites and antennas that provide these vital network services.
“In addition, we also have a responsibility to local communities who often ask us to protect our buildings from nesting birds. However, we are happy to chat with the RSPB to look at ways to modify the techniques we use. “
However, a spokesperson for Papa John said the company wanted the nets removed.
In an e-mail to The independent they said, “We understand the importance of nesting for the survival of kittens and fully support the protection of the species. The building in question is owned by a private owner whom we have contacted to request that the net be taken down urgently in order to preserve the nesting site.