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Boaters urged to be aware of puffins near Herm Island

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Thursday 01 April 2021

The puffins are back for another year and boaters are asked to be mindful of these lovable birds, especially to the south east of Herm near Puffin Bay, where they can be seen rafting (resting on the waves). Our breeding population of Puffins return to the cliffs of Herm each year to raise their offspring, so it is important that boat owners are sensitive to their presence.

Male and female puffins mate for life and return to the same nest every year to lay one single egg. Both the male and female take turns to incubate the egg, and once the egg has hatched the parents leave the Puffling chick in the burrow whilst they go out to search for Sandeels to eat. The parents return to their burrows at night.

In 2014 the winter mortality incident resulting from increased storm conditions, which became known as the 'seabird wreck', saw Atlantic Puffins being the worst affected species locally. Survey data collected voluntarily by the local Seabird Monitoring Team showed an unsurprising decline in Puffin numbers in 2015.

Since 2017, Agriculture, Countryside & Land Management Services (ACLMS) has put out yearly reminders to boat users and jet skiers to give this area a suitable berth and to not exceed the six knot speed limit in order to reduce disturbance of these charming, endangered and iconic sea birds during the breeding season.

ACLMS wishes to thank craft users for their co-operation.

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