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Islanders urged to keep counting dead seabirds

Islanders urged to keep counting dead seabirds

Tuesday 18 February 2014

Islanders urged to keep counting dead seabirds

More than 160 seabirds killed by the storms were found washed up on Jersey’s beaches last weekend but local action group Birds on the Edge expects the count to rise as the currents bring in more bodies from the Atlantic.

Among the birds found dead by volunteers as they scoured the Island’s beaches on Sunday were 69 razorbills, 46 guillemots and 22 puffins.

The survey organiser Cris Sellarés said: “We expected to see a lot but not that many. There were piles and piles of seaweed and we are sure there will be more. More bodies will surface.”

But one guillemot had a lucky escape after being rescued at sea by a local surfer. The bird, which was covered in oil and seaweed, was taken to the Animals Shelter to recover and get cleaned up.

Durrell’s Conservationist Biologist Dr Glyn Young says the majority of the dead birds weren’t native to Jersey but the recent storms could have affected local species too. But he said the effect on them won’t be known until they return to the Island to breed.

Dr Young said: “Torrential rain is the big problem, they don’t like to fly much in high winds, there are predators looking for them all the time, and there’s not much food on the ground.”

Anyone who spots a dead seabird is asked to report it to Birds on the Edge or post the sighting on the Jersey Wildlife Facebook page.

Miss Sellarés said: “Please take a picture so that we can check the species, remove it and bin it so that it doesn’t get counted again.”

Picture credit: Harriet Clark



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