Islands working closer together on wildlife

COLLABORATING on wildlife research was one of the main topics of discussion on the first day of this year’s Inter-Island Environment Meeting, which opened in Alderney yesterday.

The Lt-Governor, Lt General Richard Cripwell, centre, opened the Inter-Island Environment Meeting in Alderney yesterday. With him are Boyd Kelly, left, the chairman of Alderney’s General Services Committee, and Alderney Wildlife Trust CEO and event organiser Roland Gauvain. (Picture by David Nash)
The Lt-Governor, Lt General Richard Cripwell, centre, opened the Inter-Island Environment Meeting in Alderney yesterday. With him are Boyd Kelly, left, the chairman of Alderney’s General Services Committee, and Alderney Wildlife Trust CEO and event organiser Roland Gauvain. (Picture by David Nash)

A total of about 90 delegates, including several online, were present for the day’s 11 talks which were followed by a workshop which focused on the use of acoustics in monitoring wildlife.

The event was opened by Lt-Governor Lt General Richard Cripwell at the Georgian House Hotel yesterday morning, followed by two sets of talks on the subject of finding ways towards sustainability and research collaboration and emergency response.

Sponsored by KPMG, Alderney’s States and the Alderney Wildlife Trust is hosting the two-day event and trust CEO Roland Gauvain said the first day highlighted how far collaboration had come in recent years.

One of the projects the audience heard about was the monitoring of marine mammals, which had been carried out around the islands.

While Jersey had led the way on this, Guernsey and Alderney had now both started their

own monitoring.

This had extended beyond just cetaceans, however, and now was looking at tuna and tope movements, among other species, which gave information useful to the islands’ fisheries.

‘We’re finally getting to the point where pan-island we’re starting to see some really good information gathering and assessment,’ he said.

Another example of how a project had started in one place and spread to others was the Pollinator Project, which was now being operated in Jersey, Guernsey and Alderney, with the information being shared among each group.

But it had gone even further afield and had been taken away by a representative from the Caribbean island of Anguilla where it had become even bigger.

Guernsey’s acoustic monitoring of bats was another project which was set to go pan-island, said Mr Gauvain, and yesterday’s sessions ended with a workshop which took a closer look at how the technology was being used to monitor a wide range of species that would be difficult to follow using visual methods.

n The talks can be followed online via Microsoft Teams. Links are in the PDF programme available at https://bit.ly/3rQ1IY6

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