Manx BirdLife is asking everyone concerned about the state of birds and other wildlife in the Isle of Man to ask their local candidates for The Isle of Man House of Keys General Election September 2021 what they will do to restore and protect our Island's precious natural heritage.
In Birds of Conservation Concern in the Isle of Man (BOCCIOM) 2021, Manx BirdLife has published the first ever comprehensive assessment of the conservation status of the Island’s wild birds.
Of 166 regularly occurring species:
◉ 48 (29%) are Red-listed as being of greatest concern;
◉ 68 (41%) are Amber-listed;
◉ 50 are Green-listed as being of least concern.
As well as documenting significant losses of diversity and abundance of species, BOCCIOM 2021 highlights species for which the Isle of Man has a significant international responsibility. For example, the Island hosts 28% of the UK & IOM's population of Chough.
“We forget, in a world completely transformed by man, that what we’re looking at is not necessarily the environment wildlife prefers, but the depleted remnant that wildlife is having to cope with.”
Frans Vera (Wilding, Isabella Tree)
How will your local election candidates seek to protect the Isle of Man’s native birds and the habitats on which they depend?
In order to halt the continued diminishment of the bird life that visits and makes the Island its home, Manx BirdLife is asking elected representatives in Government to:
- Forge an inspirational vision of an exemplar Biosphere Island nation in which birds and other wildlife thrive in vibrant living landscapes and flourishing seas.
- Ensure designation of sites (ASSIs, NNRs etc.) gives lasting protection to the habitats and species for which such special areas are designated.
- Always put native Manx birds and other wildlife first, protecting them from the negative impacts of non-native alien species deliberately or inadvertently introduced by man.
- Strengthen existing wildlife laws to protect wild birds and their homes throughout the year - by safeguarding traditional nesting and roosting sites and feeding and loafing areas from destruction and disturbance.
- Deliver the 'targeted initiatives that produce conserved and cherished landscapes [and] enhance biodiversity' as promised in the Agri-Environment Initiatives Scheme (AES) by targeting grant support at key habitats and priority species as, for example, assessed by BOCCIOM 2021.
- Plan future development of the Island in tandem with safeguards to protect Manx bird life from the growing impact of its human population.
- Continue to set practical and up-to-date real-world learning outcomes in the curricula for Primary and Secondary education in order to equip young people to act as future guardians of our natural world.
Please help our wild birds by asking YOUR local candidates what they will do to protect our wild birds and their habitats.
In the first instance, why not ask your candidates:
“What will you do to protect native Manx bird life?”
You can then explore specific questions such as:
- Will you use Manx BirdLife’s new evidence-based assessment, Birds of Conservation Concern in the Isle of Man 2021, to inform your support for environmental initiatives and how resources are best targeted?
- Will you seek to strengthen the Island’s Biosphere aspirations and Biodiversity Strategy by including meaningful targets for habitat restoration and species populations?
- How will you seek to improve bird protection through site designations, the Isle of Man Wildlife Act and its effective enforcement?
- What changes to the planning system might you explore to better safeguard wild birds and protect important habitats from development?
- How will you ensure that increasing use of the countryside for amenity does not further diminish the bird life it hosts?
You can assess the answers you receive and decide which of your local candidates has the empathy that you would wish for our birds and other wildlife.
Thank you for helping to protect our Island's precious wild birds and the habitats on which they depend.
The Manx BirdLife team