THE Island’s wetlands, which are an important habitat for endangered species, have declined dramatically over the past 200 years and particularly during the last 70 years.
A National Trust for Jersey map-based study estimates that 64 per cent of the main land-based wetland habitats have been lost since 1795, when there were 1,668 vergées compared to 600 in 2006. In a statement, the trust said that they believed that the preservation of the remaining wetlands was critical to avoid further huge losses of biodiversity.
They are calling on Planning and Environment Minister Freddie Cohen to ensure that these extremely important and fragile areas are protected by proceeding with the Sites of Special Interest designation for Grouville Marsh and Samarès/ Rue des Près wetlands without delay.
The trust also said that their boundaries should be reclassified as green zone to save a larger area from development. Senator Cohen said that he was pleased to note the trust’s call for the speeding up of the SSI designations of Grouville Marsh and Samarès/Rue des Près and would recommend that move took place as soon as possible.
• Picture: Lee Guyoncourt of the National Trust for Jersey at Grouville Marsh, one of the Island’s few remaining wetlands. Picture by Peter Mourant (00615573)