The Danish nature agency, Naturstyrelsen, has established two new islands near Harboøre Tange fjord in west-Jutland in a bid to improve bird breeding conditions for vulnerable species.
This week 1,200 cubic metres of sand and gravel were shifted to provide a secure location for a number of ground-nesting birds, which are under duress from foxes and other predators that eat eggs and chicks alike.
“If vulnerable bird species like pied avocets and terns are to get their chicks airborne, it’s essential to have a number of ‘fox-secure’ islands and islets where the birds can breed in peace,” said Thomas Borup Svendsen, a forester attached to Naturstyrelsen in west Jutland.
“Harboøre Tange is one of the most important bird areas in Denmark, and by establishing two new islands here we are helping the many birds that already breed there.”
Promise of Peberholm
There are previous instances of birds taking over islands that have occurred naturally or are man-made, such as following the cleansing of shipping fairways. The artificial island Peberholm, which was created in connection with the construction of the Øresund Bridge, is a good example of that.
The two new islands have sizes of 400 and 600 square metres and have been created using a number of calculations – such as sea-level rises, current conditions, and ice pressure should the fjord freeze.
The establishment of the islands are part of the EU project LIFE-REDCOHA, which aims to protect vulnerable coastline habitats at 15 sites along the Danish west coast.