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Fears for Dorset wildlife after severe storms

By shill  |  Posted: January 10, 2014

A rescued Fulmar. Picture by Angela Thomas

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DORSET Wildlife Trust (DWT) is concerned about the effects the recent stormy weather has had on the county’s wildlife.

After braving strong winds and enormous waves, exhausted and distressed seabirds such as the Razorbill, Fulmar and Shag have been found stranded on Chesil Beach and at Kimmeridge in Dorset.

DWT’s Marine Awareness Officer, Julie Hatcher said: “The weather conditions will make it hard for birds that live and feed around the coast, and there’s a risk they could become weak from not being able to feed properly. The biggest concern is that seabirds will become dehydrated, as their intake of water comes from the food they eat. We are encouraging members of the public who come across an injured bird to phone the RSPCA for assistance.”

There is also concern that the repeated storms are washing up considerable amounts of litter onto Dorset’s beaches, and DWT will be running various beach clean events to try and combat the litter.

Persistent rain has also caused rivers such as the Frome & Stour to burst their banks, which will have mixed results for wildlife.

DWT’s Dorset Wild Rivers Project Coordinator, Sarah Williams said, “High flowing rivers will allow migratory species such as salmon to swim further up the river to breed, which will mean good news for breeding numbers, as long as their nests do not get damaged by the flows. Wildfowl and wading birds will also enjoy feeding on larger wetland areas, where they will find fish and invertebrates near the surface."

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