Financed by the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) (https://www.cepf.net/) this project, which was recently approved, is a partnership between the University of Algarve and the Cape Verdean Non-Governmental Organization LANTUNA (entity financed). UAlg, through Professor Nuno Santos Loureiro, and the University of Coimbra, through Professors Vitor Paiva and Jaime Ramos, are the scientific consultants for the project, which started on March 1 and will end on May 31, 2022.
«The project has four Strategic Axes, two of which are of more scientific domain and the other two more of" diplomacy "and reinforcement of LANTUNA itself», explains the professor at UAlg.
Strategic Axis 1, currently under development, which refers to the scientific domain, focuses on the study of seabirds on the coastal cliffs of Baía do Inferno and the implementation of pilot measures for their protection. Strategic Axis 2 focuses on Fisheries, characterizing the current effort made by the fishing community of Porto Mosquito and, eventually, by other fishermen, in the Bay of Hell and in the near sea.
“Baía do Inferno has, we think, the largest Cape Verdean colonies of two species of seabirds (alcatraz - Sula leucogaster and junk tail - Phaethon aethereus)”, says Nuno Santos Loureiro. But, he explains, “as they nest on an almost inaccessible cliff, they were never the object of attention and were almost ignored, compared to other more accessible colonies”. With the use of the drone, these colonies are being closely watched and basic information about phenology (reproductive cycle) and reproductive success rate and size (number of adults and offspring) is being collected.
In addition to the use of drones, UAlg is also responsible for preparing the cartographies that will be prepared to present the results and also for coordinating the study related to the fishing effort (Strategic Axis 2). According to the researcher, who in the UAlg Landscape Architecture course explains the fundamental concepts about the use of drones for the study and characterization of the landscape and territory, “drones are gaining great importance worldwide, but their use in Baía do Inferno it is, to some extent, innovative because very detailed information is being collected, and, in general, drones are used for more comprehensive censuses and observations ”.
This partnership will soon allow us to know a lot more about these colonies. "If we can identify the factors that limit their growth, it will eventually be possible to contribute to the management of the colonies and ensure their continuity".