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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Natural Environment team publish annual report

03 May 2013

The Department of the Environment has published an annual report which summarises the achievements of its Natural Environment Team (NET).

The report describes how improvements have been made to the protection of Jersey’s wildlife through changes in both law and policy and outlines how the team has helped to manage Jersey’s wild species and habitats over the last year.

Principal Ecologist for the Department of the Environment, John Pinel said “The conservation of Jersey’s wildlife is a core responsibility for our department. It enables the Island to fulfil its international obligations and to meet the strategic objectives the States of Jersey has agreed.

“I’m pleased that the efforts of our department, and the many partners who work hard to conserve the Island's biodiversity, are having such a positive impact on our wildlife, ensuring that our countryside is in a fit condition to be handed on to future generations.”

Highlights of the report

• the return of the cirl bunting to the Island. These birds were thought to be extinct in Jersey, but a pair was spotted on the Royal Jersey Golf Course last year. They are now thought to have bred two chicks successfully. With considerable help from all involved, they are doing well as a result of supplementary feeding throughout the year, habitat management and education

• the huge contribution by volunteers; nearly one thousand hours of work were provided by volunteers managing Jersey’s habitats. Projects included lining a wildlife pond, bracken control, and dry stone wall building. The team is keen to encourage more local companies to volunteer on conservation projects

• the team’s contribution to international biodiversity on a local level by becoming a partner of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (2011-2020). This will promote the team's ongoing work both within and outside the Island

• Birds on the Edge project is a collaborative initiative between the National Trust for Jersey, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Department of the Environment. It aims to reverse the problems of habitat loss on our coastal areas, providing improved conditions for a host of wildlife, and targeting declining populations of birds. The flagship project of reintroducing the Chough to Jersey will act as the emblem for Birds on the Edge and will benefit all Jersey’s wildlife

• the discovery of a new bat species in Jersey. An ecological consultant found the Whiskered Bat Myotis Mystacinus when they surveyed a property for a development proposal. The team is encouraging the inclusion of bat roosting space in new developments

• plans to help Jersey’s animals and plants spread and increase their population ranges by creating safe links between important habitats and biodiversity hotspots

• a decline in nesting gulls in St Helier since 1999. The cause is unclear but may be linked to a change in the types of buildings in town. The team has also worked hard to raise awareness of how to discourage gulls from nesting on properties
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