BirdLife Malta has successfully released one of two hand-reared Yelkouan Shearwater (Garnija) chicks that were found astray from their nests.

Carmel, as the bird was called, was released in a nest box at a secure location at one of the Yelkouan Shearwater colonies on the Mellieħa cliffs.

Both birds were the first candidates of a translocation experiment on Yelkouan Shearwaters, where an attempt is being made to rehabilitate birds into a wild population after being hand-raised according to the best research available.

Carmel's release back in the wild was made possible thanks to funding from HSBC Malta Foundation who is sponsoring a rat control programme at the Natura 2000 site, resulting in elimination of rat predation on shearwater eggs and young chicks at this colony so that chicks like Carmel have a secure site where they can train their wings and gain strength before leading an independent life at sea. 

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