Alderney's West Coast and Burhou Islands Ramsar Site

Alderney's Ramsar site in the West and Northwest of Alderney was designated in 2005, becoming the first Ramsar site in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. Now it makes up one of eight Ramsar sites in the Channel Islands

Alderney's Internationally Important Wetlands

Alderney and Burhou achieved the Ramsar designation in 2005 through their regionally, nationally and internationally important populations of seabirds. In particular the islets of Ortac and Les Etacs support around 1% of the world population of Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus).

In order to maintain this designation the Alderney Wildlife Trust (on behalf of the General Services Committee (GSC) for the States of Alderney) put together a 5 year management strategy in 2006, which was then followed through from 2007-2011.

The work carried out by the Alderney Wildlife Trust focuses on seabird and marine monitoring work, with terrestrial and public awareness activities also a part of the management strategy. Known as the Alderney West Coast and Burhou Islands Ramsar Site Management and Monitoring Strategy (or ARS1), it was reviewed and renewed in 2012 for the period up to 2016.

In 2016 ARS3 was drawn up for the 2017-2021 period, incorporating new aspects to engae with stakeholders and the community involved in the Ramsar site and streamlining monitoring methodologies.

Since 2005 data has been collected on 10 seabird species for population size and productivity success rates; marine habitat mapping is carried out in new locations each year and terrestrial surveys are becoming a larger part of the monitoring work. The recording of this data is continued and expanded each year by the Alderney Wildlife Trust in order to better understand the ecological processes of the Ramsar site and conserve its diversity within the convention guidelines.

All of the data gathered is not only used in the management of the Ramsar site but also in providing resources for the LIVE: Teaching through Nature interactive education project. You can watch a live webcam feed of the puffins when they are on Burhou on the LIVE website.

The existing data can be found in the latest reports on the Ramsar site which are downloadable in pdf format at the bottom of the page.

Take a 360° virtual tour of Burhou 'Alderney's Living Islands'

The Wildlife Trusts '360 Virtual Tours' take in a wide range of landscapes from the rugged uplands of north-west Scotland to the floodplain meadows of the Home Counties and the rocky shorelines of the Isles of Scilly to here in Alderney.

360 view



Puffin Friendly Zone
(Français ci-dessous)

Following observations of a decline in Burhou’s puffin population and concerns of disturbance impacting breeding success, The Alderney Wildlife Trust (AWT), in collaboration with the States of Alderney, the Alderney Marine Management Forum, Alderney Harbour Office and local fishermen, designated a “Puffin Friendly Zone” in 2018. This zone, which is in place during the puffin breeding season every year, aims to provide the puffins with a safe area to rest, undisturbed by visiting or passing boats. Puffins are easily disturbed when rafting on the water, leading them to take flight which uses up vital energy reserves and interrupts feeding and parenting habits. This sort of disturbance can have a significant impact on breeding success.

We kindly ask all mariners to help protect puffins by following the associated code of conduct (below) when near Burhou. Anyone can help by raising awareness of the Puffin Friendly Zone and helping to police it by informing the Alderney Harbour Office or the AWT if they see marine users within the zone.

The AWT, working on behalf of the States of Alderney, monitors the puffins as part of the management of the Alderney West Coast and Burhou Islands Ramsar Site. The Puffin Friendly Zone represents a practical conservation response to the information gathered via monitoring, recording a decline in the puffin population on Burhou between 2012 and 2017, with recent signs suggesting numbers may be beginning to stabilise, highlighting the importance of the Puffin Friendly Zone.

Atlantic puffins are currently listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as an endangered species in Europe, with rapid population declines likely due to threats including human disturbance, climate change, renewable energy production, pollution and shifting species distributions. Such threats, compounded with the species low breeding rates (1 chick per pair per year), makes puffins very sensitive species.

La « zone de refuge pour les macareux »

La « zone de refuge pour les macareux » est située au large de Burhou (un îlot situé à environ 23 km de la côte normande). Pendant la saison de reproduction du macareux moine, de mars à août, il est recommandé aux utilisateurs de la mer de ne pas entrer dans la zone protégée et de réduire au maximum la vitesse et le bruit lorsqu'ils se trouvent à proximité de Burhou.


FilenameFile size
2020 Ramsar Action Plan557.65 KB
2019 Seabird Graphic772.76 KB
2019 Seabird Summary187.54 KB
2019 Ramsar Review14.89 MB
2019 Ramsar Annual Action Plan3.13 MB
2019 EelGrass Project Report900.86 KB
2019 Living Seas Report922.57 KB
2018 Ramsar Annual Review2.07 MB
2018 Ramsar Annual Action Plan854.02 KB
2017 Ramsar Annual Review3.33 MB
2017-2021 Five Year Management Strategy351.58 KB
2016 Ramsar Annual Review4.31 MB
2012-2016 Five Year Management Strategy Review193.51 KB
2015 Ramsar Annual Review3.61 MB
2014 Ramsar Annual Review3.07 MB
2014 Ramsar Annual Review- Appendix 5.41.97 MB
2013 Ramsar Annual Review2.35 MB
2012 Ramsar Annual Review2.38 MB
2012-2016 Five Year Management Strategy1.46 MB
2007-2011 Five Year Management Strategy Review249.71 KB
2011 Ramsar Annual Review1.68 MB
2010 Ramsar Annual Review2.22 MB
2009 RamsarAnnual Review1.39 MB
2008 Ramsar Annual Review2.82 MB
2007 Ramsar Annual Review1.31 MB
2007-2011 Five Year Management Strategy592.06 KB