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Read by Charley and Dave

As mentioned last week there are many threats to wildlife, including our seabirds, and the AWT works to protect Alderney’s habitats and species. But many species, particularly seabirds, do not stay in one location for their whole lives so conservation is needed on a global scale. This migratory nature means that to protect the likes of gannets we not only need to protect their habitat in the breeding season, and reduce the amount of their fish we are taking form the oceans around the, but we also need to protect them from habitat loss and other impacts in the areas where they migrate.

We can protect gannets whilst in their breeding colony on Alderney...

We can protect gannets whilst in their breeding colony on Alderney...

...but we also need to try and protect them from dangers in their migration, such as fishing vessels.

Gulls following a fishing trawler for easy food - gannets will also do this

Gulls following a fishing trawler for easy food - gannets will also do this

Pollution is an impact that can occur on scales much larger than the local population and so it needs to be mitigated for on a global scale as well. In 2013 the South coast of the UK reported thousands of dead seabirds washed on shore covered in a sticky substance. A few reports also came in  from the Channel Islands. The substance was identified as Polyisobutylene (PIB) and came from ships out at sea. Because of this event the AWT worked with dozens of other conservation groups to get PIB banned, which it was later that same year. But there are many more pollutants that can still impact on our seabirds.

A guillemot that died due to PIB that washed up on Alderney in 2013

A guillemot that died due to PIB that washed up on Alderney in 2013

Climate change is also a global impact as greenhouse gas emissions cover the atmosphere. The only way to protect wildlife from a changing climate is to change our habits on a global scale and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Only through international laws and agreements, and by working together, can we put in all the necessary effort to protect and conserve the planets wildlife.

But to help global conservation every little helps on the local scale, so why not try:

  • Using only energy saving lightbulbs in your house (reduces greenhouse gas emissions)
  • Turning lights off everytime you leave a room (reduces greenhouse gas emissions)
  • Building a nest box, wildlife pond or bug hotel in your back garden (increases habitat diversity)
  • Putting out food for garden birds (compensates for less natural food available due to habitat loss)
  • Support your local conservation groups by visiting their reserves and learning about their wildlife
Adults and children enjoy making nest boxes on Alderney

Adults and children enjoy making nest boxes on Alderney

ECOLOGIST'S UPDATE

Our two ringed plover nests, one on Clonque and one on Platte Saline, are still incubating well. We have now confirmed both nests to have 4 eggs and they are due to hatch any day now! If they do we will be sure to let you know.

Ringed plover incubating 4 eggs on Platte Saline

Ringed plover incubating 4 eggs on Platte Saline

The second pair of ringed plovers on Clonque have now successfully raised their two chicks to fledging as well. We wish them all the best for migration and Winter and hope to see them joining our expanding breeding colony in the years to come!

During our 'Caring for the Young' topic we told you about plovers faking broken wings to distract threats to their nest. Well, in a recent visit to the nest we were actually able to record this footage from a distance. The camera is fully zoomed in so unfortunately it is a bit shaky; and we must point out that the plover was only away from its nest for 30 seconds during a necessary survey. But it was great footage to get!

Plover Faking Broken Wing