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Orkney Wildlife in Crisis

The number of harbour seals and many seabirds in Orkney is decreasing at a rapid rate. Helen Mark finds out how conservationists are using technology to track some iconic species.

The Orkney Isles are one of the best places for wildlife in the country. Species such as seals and puffins which are hard to find in other parts of the UK can often be spotted in Orkney with ease. Helen Mark visits to discover for herself the incredibly rich beaches, cliff tops and moorland on the islands. Despite the display of rare species on offer Helen finds that even here marine life is increasingly threatened by an array of problems and once thriving populations are now in decline. She talks to Martin Gray, the Orkney beachcomber who has dedicated his life to cleaning up the shores of his home. She learns how to capture the flight of the Arctic Skua on paper with artist Tim Wooton. Helen visits the 'sea bird city' at Marwick Head and discovers how their decline, as well as that of the harbour seal, is being tracked using mobile technology. Can conservationists learn enough about the feeding habits of the most threatened species to halt the decline? The nature lovers of Orkney continue to hope they can.

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25 minutes