Wild Mob goes to bat for the birds on sailing expedition
THE wind and waves were wild at times, but they couldn't ruffle the feathers of the Wild Mob.
The volunteer group for wilderness conservation partnered with the Queensland Parks and Wildlife and the Australasian Seabird Group to conduct an expedition through the nine islands of the Capricornia Cays.
They returned on Thursday after the eight day trip studying the populations of black noddies and wedge-tailed shearwaters.
The Cays stretch from Lady Musgrave Island near the town of 1770 to North West Island, 50 nautical miles from Yeppoon.
The 12-man group's spokesperson, Derek Ball, said the expedition was fantastic.
They will not have conclusive answers on the impacts of climate change, marine debris and predation by black rats on seabirds in the Cays until the data is collated.
Mr Ball said they found North West Island provided nesting for 60% of birds in the Great Barrier Reef.
"Population changes in these birds could have a cascading effect through the entire Great Barrier Reef ecosystem," he said.
"We know from previous surveys that these birds are suffering from changing temperatures, entanglement in discarded fishing gear, and starvation after ingesting plastics, while their eggs and young are being eaten by black rats."
He said contributing to the health of the seabirds is the responsibility of every one.