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Areas of Special Protection at Les Minquiers

31 January 2023

​Two areas of Les Minquiers have been designated as Areas of Special Protection under Jersey’s Wildlife Law (2021).

The Order, signed by the Minister for Environment, Deputy Jonathan Renouf, comes into effect tomorrow (1 February), and complements the four areas on Les Ecréhous that were already designated last year. 

The two designated areas aim to protect the breeding activities, nesting, and the young of wild birds - including common terns, European shags, great cormorants, and great black-backed gulls. 

During the nesting season, from 1 February to 31 August, the following activities will be banned and access to the defined breeding sites will be restricted, to minimise the risk of disturbance:

  • entering a breeding area, except in an emergency 
  • operating a vessel at a speed of 5 knots or more, except in an emergency
  • using or operating an unmanned aerial vehicle, unless authorised by the Minister for Environment 
  • using or operating a laser 
  • discharging a firearm or ceremonial gun
  • lighting a firework
  • lighting a bonfire (except for a barbecue)
  • bringing a dog onto land, unless authorised in writing by the Minister for Environment
  • playing a recording of a bird song, bird calls, or other sounds which may attract, alarm, or otherwise disturb a protected wild bird
  • playing music at a volume which may alarm or otherwise disturb a protected wild bird

 Deputy Jonathan Renouf said: “It is our responsibility to ensure nesting seabirds are protected while they are in the Channel Islands, so I’m pleased to designate the two key areas of Les Minquiers as Areas of Special Protection under Jersey’s Wildlife Law. 

“During the spring and summer months, the Minquiers welcomes lots of visits from Islanders and tourists, so this Order should help minimise any human disturbance to ensure the seabirds that nest there are safe and hopefully have a successful nesting season.” 

Chair of the Maîtresse Île Residents Association, John Le Gresley, said: “The vast Minquiers reef has two significant but small areas of dry land at high tide that can support nesting bird populations. The Maîtresse Île Residents Association is fully in support of the need to share this unique, precious, although sometimes hostile environment with wildlife living ‘on the edge’, and we therefore welcome the Areas of Special Protection. 

“We’ve had helpful discussions with the Department during the drafting stage of the Order, and believe there is room for positive environmental co-existence between humans and the nesting wildlife at the Minquiers.”

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