New campaign launched to save Jersey's puffin population

The campaign aims to protect local puffins from predators. Credit: ITV Channel TV

National Trust for Jersey and Birds on the Edge have launched a campaign to save Jersey's puffins from extinction.

Five years of ecological research and independent consultations have found the Island's puffin population is on the edge of local extinction.

The new campaign will raise money to build a Seabird Reserve between the Lecq Clay Shooting range and the Plémont headland.

A predator-exclusion fence will be built along the cliffs below the footpath to protect the puffins, their eggs and chicks from non-native predators like rats and ferrets.

These predators are one of the main causes of the decline of Jersey's puffin population, which has fallen from 200 pairs in the 1910s, to only four pairs now.

The campaign will also see:

  • Predators relocated from inside the reserve area

  • A bracken management programme to restore coastal grasslands

  • Long-term monitoring of the reserve's wildlife.

Other species of seabirds, land birds, mammals, reptiles and insects that are native to Jersey will also be protected by the project. Campaigners also hope that locally extinct species like Storm Petrels and Guillemots will return to the area.

Cris Sellarés, Project Officer for Birds on the Edge, says: “We can no longer take it for granted that this colourful seabird which plays such an important part in Jersey’s natural heritage will keep returning to our shores; we must play our part to protect it now before it is too late.”    

“We believe the reserve will benefit not only the natural environment but will bring other benefits to the Island’s community by providing employment for local companies, back to work schemes, volunteering opportunities, apprenticeships and education.

"It has the potential to become a tourism asset and to have positive effects on wellbeing and mental health by enhancing our connection with nature.”

The National Trust for Jersey is encouraging all Islanders to get involved with the campaign by attending drop-in sessions and sharing their feedback via email or opinion survey.

A public consultation has begun before a planning application is written for the installation of the predator-exclusion fence.