Dwindling puffin numbers spark fears for the future of wildlife in Guernsey and Jersey

A recent national trust report said that 12 puffin pairs were left in Guernsey and just 4 pairs in Jersey Credit: National Trust

Fears are growing for the future of some of the Channel Islands' most recognisable wildlife after a report revealed less than 20 puffin pairs were left in Guernsey and Jersey.

The "State of Nature" report, commissioned by the National Trust, showed the numbers of the iconic bird had plunged in recent years.

This has been mainly due to the decline of their main source of food, sand eels, as waters around the islands have warmed up.

Only in Alderney have numbers of the bird remained stable, with 150 pairs recorded on Burhou this year.

Guernsey's National Trust has blamed the lack of protection that exists for wild habitats for the decline in many species across the island.

Only 4% of Guernsey's land is classed as 'protected'- the lowest of any British crown dependency or overseas territory.

Nicky Harris from the Dolphin Project, a Guernsey conservation group, says that more needs to be done to halt the decline of species like Puffins and other sea birds.

"It would be a sad day but it is coming if there are no protections we could see them disappearing from our waters," she said.

"The statistics we see for Guernsey are really stark," added Julia Henney, who is the island's Senior Natural Environment Officer.

"We know we lost over 90% of our wintering wading birds in the last 30 years and in the same time scale we've lost over 60% of our species-rich grasslands and these are really important habitats for our wildlife."

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