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Protection of Roseate Terns on Les Eréhous (FOI)

Protection of Roseate Terns on Les Eréhous (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 04 April 2023.
Prepared internally, no external costs.



I request the details of measures to ensuring the protection of the nesting, breeding, and survival rate of the Roseate terns (Sterna dougallii) on Marmotière, Les Ecréhous as the authorities are obliged to under its obligations under Ospar which recommends the following: 

"protection of breeding colonies from predation and disturbance e.g. by presence of wardens throughout the breeding season and control of predators;"

"maintenance of suitable nesting habitat at all existing colonies and future creation or enhancement of suitable nesting habitat to increase number of occupied colonies;"

"in accordance with OSPAR Recommendation 2003/3 as amended by OSPAR Recommendation 2010/2, report to the OSPAR Commission on sites selected for inclusion as components of the OSPAR Network of Marine Protected Areas and develop appropriate management plans and measures that include the conservation of the Roseate tern;"

"promote monitoring and assessment programmes for the Roseate tern and contribute to the development of a data collation strategy;"

"raise awareness of the status of and threats to the Roseate tern among management authorities, users of the marine environment and the general public;"

"regular colony monitoring, continuing and expanding existing monitoring of breeding colonies to include, as a minimum, data collection on breeding numbers and productivity for all occupied colonies;"

"where resources allow, further data collection at the colonies (e.g. covering diet, feeding ecology, chick provisioning rates, chick survival and growth rates);"

"promote implementation of the European Commission Species Action Plan for the Roseate Tern;"

"where resources allow, further data collection to augment the baseline data collection at the colonies (e.g. covering management effectiveness, threats and impacts, and parameters such as diet, feeding ecology, chick provisioning rates, chick survival and growth rates);"

"Contracting Parties should report by 31 December 2013 and every six years thereafter on the implementation of this measure. When reporting on implementation, the format as set out in Appendix 1 should be used as far as possible."


Why are there no cameras on the nesting site?, the officer has declined to do this, yet has cameras monitoring boat movements. This would cover some of the above, and also deter the ongoing human disturbance to the Roseate and Common terns.



In 2022, the Government of Jersey designated three Areas of Special Protection (ASP) under the Wildlife (Areas of Special Protection) (Jersey) Order 2022 on Les Ecréhous, under, and having met the requirements of Article 35 of the Wildlife (Jersey) Law 2021 (the Law).

The ASPs were designated for the protection of the breeding activities, nesting and young of protected wild birds, which includes the Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii. This was in response to concerns over increasing disturbance to nesting birds and their young on the reef due to increased visitor numbers. One of these areas was La Marmotière (the other two being La Grande Brecque and La Blancq Île). 

As required by Article 35 (2) of the Law, a consultation was undertaken to define the provisions of the Order and prepare for the designation with every owner or occupier of land falling within the area proposed to be designated. 

This included St Martin’s Parish authorities, the Les Ecréhous Residents Association (ERA) and the Receiver General. Further dialogue was held with the Société Jersiaise Ornithology Section, Ports of Jersey and commercial RIB operators (who take visitors to the reef). The French authorities and French boat marinas were also notified of the Order.

The implementation of the ASP’s involves multiple actions to ensure that everybody holidaying on or visiting the reef understands the following:

  • The location of areas where access is not permitted.
  • Permitted and responsible behaviours to ensure that breeding birds and their young are not disturbed. 

The Order places a duty on all owners or occupiers of premises within the ASP, who authorise persons to enter the area, and on all vessel operators who bring persons onto land within an ASP, to inform those persons prior to entry or landing of the requirements of the Order.  Laminated information cards are produced to enable this.

Rope cordons will visibly demarcate the designated ASP’s and signage will be placed, both at the landing point and around the breeding area. This includes a rope barrier and signage at La Marmotière.

The Les Ecréhous Codes of Conduct was updated and liaison with commercial RIB operators will continue during the season. 

Regular monitoring of the breeding of Terns is undertaken by an ornithologist and Natural Environment officers (with reports also being received from ERA members). Results are assessed, compiled and stored by Natural Environment officers.

Engagement, education and close liaison with the ERA members (people who have extended stays on the reef) helps ensure that any disturbance to the breeding Roseate Terns or their young can be quickly notified to Natural Environment officers who can call upon Regulatory colleagues within the Government of Jersey. 

Provisions are in place for speedy access to the reef by Government officers should it be warranted from reports of disturbance being caused to the breeding Terns or their young. 

Specialist nest boxes for Roseate Terns are located and monitored in the neighbouring ASP. 

The Ramsar Management Plan highlights the Common Tern (this document pre-dates the arrival of the Roseate Tern). The Ecréhous reef includes a Seabird Protection Zone that was established by Natural Environment in partnership with the Société Jersiaise, to afford protection to all bird species, but particularly the Terns. 

A Code of Conduct accompanies the seabird protection zone.

Further details of the requirements of the ASP can be found at:

Areas of Special Protection on Les Ecréhous (


The camera in place on La Marmotière monitors the number of visiting boats and is pointed towards the various anchorages.  

In 2022, a separate camera was placed on La Blancq Île. This was directed at nesting birds on the ground, within the ASP inner protected bird breeding area. 

After multiple attempts, it was found that the SD card had failed and the photos could not be downloaded.

A new camera has been purchased and will be placed on La Blancq Île for the 2023 breeding season. The objective for the camera is to collect evidence and breeding, predation, and feeding data.

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