Visitors need to be educated to respect wildlife according to an ornithologist who spotted a group of jet-skiers disturbing seabirds near Ynys Seiriol - a tiny island east of Ynys Môn. Ynys Seiriol is a vital habitat for wildlife.

Ros Green is a PhD student and was doing fieldwork as part of a study for Bangor University when she witnessed the incident.

Ros has shared her video of the jet skis on Twitter. So far, it has been viewed 60,000 times and she told our sister title, Corgi Cymru: "We were in the north of the island at about 1.20pm (Sunday) and saw eight ski jets coming quickly from the direction of Traeth Coch on Ynys Môn. They didn't slow down on approaching Ynys Seiriol and that's when I started recording, ” she said.

 

According to Ros, the jet-ski drivers had already ploughed their way through numerous seabirds which were sitting on the water's surface.

"As the video shows they were around for about three to four minutes. They then split into two groups. They were driving fast all the time and the birds had to get out of the way.”

A few minutes after the jet skis left, Ros found a guillemot dead in the water.

"It had just died but I can't be sure he was killed by the ski jet. We tried to get it ashore with poles and the like, but to no avail.”

Ros says that she is "much more impartial" about jet skis than her fellow birders.

"I would be surprised if the drivers of the jet skis were deliberately trying to injure - they weren't there long enough. But when I saw the dead bird I was also angry and disappointed. ”

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And while many have commented negatively about the drivers of the jet skis on social media, she does not think that helps the situation.

"People have been calling them ‘twats’ and saying they want to (shoot) them. But if I could have gone to talk to the jet skis and explained to them that maybe they had killed a bird, we might come to a better understanding.

"Local people show respect - I don't think it's a local problem. People come from all over north Wales for a day out. This is the challenge - getting the message out to these people.”

Seabirds are currently breeding and within a month, the eggs will start hatching. Ros is concerned about the impact of jet skis and fast rubber boats at that time.

"The water around Ynys Seiriol will be full of chicks in about a month's time and they wouldn't be able to move out of the route of the skis jet fast enough until August. So the risk to the birds is going to increase in the coming months.”

In addition to the threat to seabirds from jet skis, Ros says that rats are also a problem on Ynys Seiriol.

"We saw them for the first time last year and we think it's related to the lock-out. Either the boats have come too close to the island and the rats have jumped off. Or they've fed on all the rubbish in Penmon and swam across. ”

These are the two most likely reasons she said, adding that Natural Resources Wales is working on a plan to eradicate the rats.

"So the threat to Ynys Seiriol seabirds comes from many different directions: people disturbing them, climate change affecting where fish are and rats too."

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Sergeant Liam Jones is a member of the North Wales Police Countryside Crime Team.

He confirmed that he had "received a report of an allegation of crime near Puffin Island. An offense of killing a wild bird may have taken place and that's what we're looking at right now.”

The sergeant urges members of the public to report cases of "significant harassment."

He says one example of this is a "collision causing injury or death" between a person using the water and a bird or other wildlife, such as a dolphin or porpoise.

He says "noise" can also disturb nesting wild birds.

But he recognises that taking legal action against harassers is "rare" and that the emphasis is on "changing" behaviour, "and educating people".

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