Predator-proof seabird reserve gets public backing


Plans to create Europe's first predator-proof seabird reserve in the Channel Islands have received overwhelming public support.

The project in Jersey would be designed to restore coastal habitats and protect wildlife from predators with a specialised 1.6-km fence. A survey showed almost 92% of respondents support the project.

There are only eight Puffins left in the Jersey breeding population (Tom Hines).

The reserve is being proposed by the Birds on the Edge (BOTE) partnership – a joint initiative between The National Trust for Jersey, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Government of Jersey.

BOTE said it recognises the potential impact of the fence on the landscape, but added that at present it is the "only feasible solution" if Jersey's native bird species are to be protected from predators such as rats and cats.

Cris Sellares, BOTE project officer, said: "For a project that does not ask for public funding, the level of public engagement has surpassed all our expectations. I want to thank everyone who took time to participate, and reassure them that we will follow through and work to address the concerns raised by some members of the community."