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Analysis of grazing on a dune system: Are Manx Loaghtan sheep suitable for management of Quercus ilex (holm oak) at Les Blanches Banques, Jersey, Channel Islands?


Les Blanches Banques is a sand dune system in Jersey, Channel Islands which is facing
successional development due to over-scrubbing and the encroachment of holm oak from an
escarpment to the south of the site. Manx Loaghtan sheep, considered a near relative of the
extinct Jersey sheep, have been introduced to the system as part of a series of conservation
management objectives. This project examines the impacts of grazing and the suitability of
sheep in the management of the dominant Quercus ilex (holm oaks) at Les Blanches Banques.
Results suggest that, if the sheep select for holm oaks, they do so in open habitat avoiding those
which grow in scrub. They also selectively graze those plants nearer their water source.
Suggestions for management of the site include introducing a variety of herbivores to control
a variety of vegetation, and to periodically move the sheep’s water source and night penning
area to increase the effectiveness of their grazing on vegetation in the entirety of the area.
Further analysis should be undertaken after the study has run for more than one season.

Categories Ecology, Island studies
Keywords Grazing, Holm oak, Les Blanches Banques, Manx Loaghtan Sheep, SSI
Author Anonymous
Date published 2023
Document type Report
Organisation Jersey International Centre for Advanced Studies
IRR Code IRR/JICAS/2023.43904
File Type pdf