Conservationists ask Islanders to report struggling sea birds

A dead puffin found near the Gunsite a few weeks ago Picture: Cris Sellares (32563782)

ISLANDERS are being urged to keep a look out for struggling sea birds after two puffins were found dead on Jersey beaches.

Cris Sellarés, project officer for the Birds on the Edge conservation group, said that adverse weather conditions could bring more injured birds to local shores in the coming weeks.

One lifeless puffin was found near the Gunsite Beach Café around a month ago, while another was recently discovered at Plémont. An oil-covered guillemot was also rescued by an angler near Bouley Bay and taken to the JSPCA Animals’ Shelter to recover.

Ms Sellarés said that those visiting the Island’s coastal areas should contact the JSPCA if they came across a bird in distress.

‘If more people keep an eye out, then the more we will be able to save,’ she said.

‘The storms weaken them and make it more difficult for them to hunt,’ she said, adding that oil patches could also cause the creatures to ingest toxins.

Last year Ms Sellarés raised concerns about the dwindling number of puffins in the Island, with only four breeding pairs left – compared to hundreds around a century ago.

However, she said there was ‘no indication’ to suggest that the dead birds found so far this year were from Jersey, as they could also be from a number of Atlantic colonies.

‘We will know in a few weeks if ours are OK. If all four [Jersey pairs] head back to their breeding site in mid-March, then that will be a big win,’ she said, adding that Islanders could also report dead birds to the Jersey Wildlife Facebook group.