“An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfilment.” Sir David Attenborough

    Learn more about some of Jersey’s special wildlife and what to look out for.

    Illustrations by Elvenso Illustration.


    UN HAÛ

    Latin name: Galeorhinus galeus

    Size: Maximum length, nose to tail, is 2 metres. Type: This large fish is part of the shark family.

    Where: Topes like seas or oceans with a moderate climate. In Jersey, this species are found offshore in the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). The MPAs have been researched by the Blue Marine Foundation and Société Jersiaise. Sightings: Rare unless you are a keen scuba diver as this species like swimming in deep waters. Their slow growth means that this fish species takes longer to grow to maturity and reproduce. Status: Critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, a barometer of life on our planet. These fish are becoming rarer as years go by due to over fishing.



    Latin name: Haliotis tuberculata Size: Around 10 cm, depending on the age. The larger the shell, the older the ormer.

    Type: This mollusc lives in areas sometimes covered by the sea. Where: Intertidal zone, under rocks on the lower shore in the Channel Islands. This species is not found in the United Kingdom. Sightings: Occasional. Caught by low water fishermen and monitored by local marine conservation experts. Status: There are less ormers reported every year. Numbers are closely monitored in the Channel Islands to determine how many can be collected.



    Latin name: Xantho pilipes Size: Approximately 15 cm in length. Type: This animal is a crustacean that likes to live in areas sometimes covered by seawater.

    Where: Intertidal zone, under rocks on the lower shore near rock pools. Sightings: Occasional. If you turn over a rock, help protect their home by putting the rock back exactly as you found it. Try exploring Jersey’s special Ramsar areas. Status: Local monitoring of this species suggests that numbers are decreasing.



    Latin name: Lagurus ovatus Size: From 10 cm to 50 cm in height and spread. Type: This grass is a plant that grows on the land. Where: Prefers moist but well-drained soil like sand and full sun. Easily found in St Ouen’s Bay, look on the sand dunes at Les Blanches Banques or in the coastal strip along the sea wall.

    Sightings: Looses leaves in autumn and winter. New leaves grow in the spring and flowers can been seen in summer. Status: Stable. This status could change as invasive plants from other countries, like garden escapee purple dewplant, are a growing conservation issue in Jersey because they can easily take over native plants.



    Latin name: Anacamptis laxiflora Size: Up to 1 metre in height. Type: Plant that likes to grow in damp grassland areas. Where: Damp grassland habitats like the National Trust for Jersey’s Le Noir Pré meadow at Le Mare au Seigneur Site of Special Interest in St Ouen’s Bay. This type of orchid is a continental species not present on the British mainland.

    Sightings: Usually has rich pinkish purple flowers, evenly spaced on open spikes along long stalks. These orchids bloom from May through June. White and pink flower variations can be seen in the wild. Status: Thanks to the consistent management through conservation efforts there are more Jersey orchids than ever before. We all need to look after them.



    Latin name: Bombus terrestris terrestris Size: From 11 mm to 17 mm in length, from nose to tail. Type: This flying insect likes living in rural or populated areas. Where: These invertebrates can be found within most lowland areas of Britain or Ireland.

    Sightings: Frequent, during late spring to summer. Look in pollinator patches for worker bees foraging in flowers for nectar and pollen. Status: Stable, population is spreading northward in the United Kingdom. You can help record local sightings using the iRecord App.



    Latin name: Lacerta bilineata Size: From 30 cm to 40 cm in length. Type: A species of reptile that lives on dry land.

    Colour: Females have yellowish green throats and males have blue throats. Where: They prefer to live in coastal heathland, cliff slopes and dunes. Look out for them sunning themselves along coastal footpaths or on the walls of Mont Orgueil Castle.

    Sightings: Common in the spring and summer months, hibernating from autumn to spring. Status: Becoming rarer, this species are monitored locally and looked after through conservation efforts.



    Latin name: Plecotus austriacus Size: Ranging from 45 mm to 70 mm in length, with a wingspan of 35 mm to 52 mm Type: This animal flies using echolocation. They use sound reflection to work out the location of objects in the dark. Where: They like to live in woodland, heathland, grassland and dry underground places. Sightings: Common at night as bats are nocturnal creatures. Very active at dawn or dusk. Join a bat walk or talk run by local organisations such as Jersey Biodiversity Centre.

    Status: Becoming rarer. They are near threatened, close to being vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.



    Latin name: Fratercula arctica Size: Around 32 cm in length and with a wingspan of around 53 cm. Type: This bird lives in coastal regions. Where: Channel Islands. Along the cliffs of Jersey’s north coast between Plemont headland and Le Douet de la Mer headland (northwest of Grève de Lecq).

    Sightings: You will rarely see a puffin in person. To avoid disturbing these special birds please do not go to the seabird protection zones during breeding season, from March to July. Status: Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. In 2020, only two breeding pairs were recorded in Jersey.



    Latin name: Circus aeruginosus Size: Ranging from 43 cm to 54cm in length with a 115 cm to 130 cm wingspan. Type: This species of bird likes wetlands. Where: Wetland habitats, such as the marshes and reed beds of St Ouen’s Bay within the Jersey National Park. Find a good view of the sky above La Mielle de Morville nature reserve, opposite the part of the Bay known by Islanders as Secrets. Sightings: Common year-round, peak activity is November and October. Remember to turn your gaze upwards as these birds hunt from above. Status: Numbers are increasing.