Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

BEACHGOERS WARNED OF ‘WASHED-UP’ WILDLIFE

JSPCA Animals’ Shelter administered electrolytes and activated charcoal before washing off the oil from this seabird; photo by JSPCA.

Following spells of stormy weather, Islanders are advised to watch out for wildlife that may wash up on beaches across the Island, including Portuguese man o’war.

So far this year, there have been various reports of struggling or lifeless seabirds on Jersey beaches, and most-recently Portuguese man o’war have been spotted at St Ouen’s Bay.

Cris Sellarés, project officer for the Birds on the Edge conservation group, warned that strong weather could bring more injured birds to local shores. In the last few weeks, two dead puffins were found at Gunsite Beach Café and Plémont, and an oil-covered guillemot was rescued by an angler near Bouley Bay. The bird was cleaned up and cared for at the JSPCA Animals’ Shelter, who said they receive more reports of oiled seabirds in winter due to high winds and rough seas churning up oil from the seabed.

If you do see a bird in distress, the charity asks that you contact their reception for advice on 724331, or 07797 720331 out-of-hours. Cris Sellarés also advises slanders to check whether a bird has a metal identification ring on its leg, and to report any sightings on the Jersey Wildlife Facebook page.

Meanwhile, beachgoers are also being asked to report sightings of Portuguese man o’war, after the jelly-fish like marine animal was spotted at St Ouen’s Bay. The Jersey Coastguard is reminding people not to touch them, as they have a ‘very painful’ sting, and can cause allergic reactions.

Portuguese man o’war, which are not a species of jellyfish but are classified as a siphonophore, have a large balloon-like float and long blueish-violet tentacles. Any sightings should be reported to Jersey Coastguard on 447705.

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