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Pupils from seven island and coastal schools develop education resource to help protect Scottish seabirds

Seabirds face diffcult future due to plastic waste and invasive predators. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

A new online resource created by school pupils to help save Scottish seabirds has been launched.

Pupils from seven island and coastal schools were involved with the process in collaboration with RSPB Scotland’s education, youth and families team.

These include Aith Junior High School in Shetland, Elgol Primary School on Skye and Raasay Primary School in Ross-shire.

The online education resources will teach children about the threat to Scottish seabirds from invasive predators and raise awareness.

RSPB Scotland say that while Scotland has a diverse variety of seabirds they face an “increasingly difficult future”.

Plastic waste in the seas around Scotland can be a choking hazard for birds.

Pupils now better understand the threats facing Scottish seabirds.

Pupils from the Small Isles Primary on Jura invented the board game Save Our Seabirds.

Players work together to eradicate rats from their islands and prevent them from spreading to other islands by answering questions and collecting conservation points to buy biosecurity measures.

Biosecurity measures ensure there is no threat to native species within an area from disease or infection.

Jonathan Pye, a teacher from Small Isles Primary, said: “The children seeing their resources brought to life was such a refreshing change, and the buzz around this was wonderful to see.

The new board game helps pupils understand how to protect Scotland’s seabirds from outside threats. Picture supplied by RSPB.

“So often, engaging with outside organisations means that ideas the children generate aren’t brought to fruition, so seeing the looks on their faces when they were able to see (and play) their board games and online resources meant that children had a real sense of worth.”

Ingrid Smith, a teacher at Aith Junior High, said: “Prior to this project, the word biosecurity was not a word most pupils were familiar with, now they are experts and are thrilled to share their knowledge and understanding on this topic, and do so with great enthusiasm, which is definitely contagious.

“Through developing knowledge, skills and attributes in this innovative way, students were encouraged to appreciate their place in the world and, indeed, how they can make a positive difference.”

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