Leave nesting puffins in peace, say members of wildlife support project

PUFFINS have started to return to the cliffs on Jersey’s north coast.

Picture: PA (30576611)
Picture: PA (30576611)

The seabirds were first sighted in the water off Plémont at the end of March.

The small colony has comprised four breeding pairs in the past few years, and it is hoped that at least that many will return this year.

Early spring marks the most precarious time for them, according to the Birds on the Edge project – an initiative that aims to support declining species by restoring coastal land – and any disturbance could cause them to abandon their nests. The presence of boats near the breeding sites could be a disruption, those involved with the project added.

Birds on the Edge has asked Islanders to follow the guidelines of the Seabird Protection Zone between Plémont and Grève de Lecq and avoid visiting this area by watercraft from March to July.

The presence of vessels there is monitored during regular puffin and seabird surveys. A spokesperson for the project said there had been a 360% increase in leisure craft in the zone in 2020, compared to the previous year. The spike was believed to be due to lockdown, with Islanders exploring the Island more, and the team also received reports of kayaks travelling through the SPZ last week.

The spokesperson added that the safest way to enjoy the puffins was from the public footpath between Plémont and Grève de Lecq, with various vantage points along the path providing a chance to spot them.

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