For the first two weeks back after half term (6th June until 17th June) we are very excited to hand over to the world famous Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, the Jersey based conservation organisation. This is a brilliant opportunity to look at wider conservation as Durrell have teams that work all around the world! During the two weeks Durrell will be concentrating on the Birds on the Edge project they are involved in, looking at land management to provide habitat for re-introduced Choughs.
This is a great chance for your pupils to expand their knowledge, with the chance to speak to other people working in environmental conservation. Whilst bringing in new birds to think about, the Durrell team will carry on with the topics set out for LIVE.
Gerald Durrell founded the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust with the mission to ‘save species from extinction’. The Durrell team are going to focus on their Chough project Birds on the Edge, which supports the active management of Jersey’s coastland to restore populations of birds and bring back the red-billed chough to the Island.
The red-billed chough became extinct in Jersey around 1900. This exciting programme of habitat restoration on the Island’s coastline will once again provide these wonderful birds with a suitable home.
- To return the red-billed chough to its former home
- To highlight the coastland restoration work
- To become a flagship and focus for the state of the natural environment in Jersey.
The highly charismatic red-billed chough, Pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax, with its striking long red bill and distinctive shrill call feeds on insects such as craneflies in farmland often living close to people and domestic animals. Historical numbers in Jersey are unknown, but while once found on several areas of the Island’s coastline, the chough was extinct by 1900. A similar pattern of extinction was recorded in all the other Channel Islands and the last attempted breeding may have been in Guernsey in 1929. Today the nearest colonies of chough to Jersey are in Brittany where there are around 50 pairs, and in Cornwall, where the species is doing well since naturally recolonising in 2001, and on the Gower Peninsula and Pembrokeshire in west Wales. There are less than 500 pairs of this rare bird in all of the UK and the Isle of Man.
What are we doing?
All may not be lost for our clifftop birds- including the chough: innovative schemes will return them to our island as flagships of an improving environment and an increased understanding of the benefit of these species to all islanders. Areas of the north coast will be actively managed to remove the bracken and former farming practices will be encouraged for the benefit of wildlife. With sufficient areas of former farmland restored, choughs will be re-established using birds reared for this purpose at Durrell’s headquarters in Trinity and at Paradise Park in Cornwall.