Alderney's west coast and the Burhou islands were recognised by the United Nations as wetlands of international importance in 2005, becoming the first designated Ramsar site in the Bailiwick of Guernsey.
The site covers 1,500 hectares, bigger than mainland Alderney and includes the waters from the island's west coast, including Burhou islet and the surrounding rocking reef's, to the rock of Les Etacs, 100m from the coastline. the rocks of Les Etacs and Ortac are home to nearly 6,000 and 2,800 pairs of Northern Gannets respectively during the breeding season, equating to >1% of the world population.
The site is managed by Alderney Wildlife Trust, on behalf of The States of Alderney, with other groups/organisations supporting the work. Its designation ensures it is gently managed, conserving and maintaining its ecological character, diverse habitats, flora and fauna and protecting it for future generations.