By Chris Mason
BBC News, Calais
Several hundred French riot police were involved in the operation
The operation began at 0739 (0539 GMT). Clutching batons and riot helmets, 600 officers from the CRS - the French riot police - moved into the rough patch of wasteland known here as "the jungle".
Local residents, who live within yards of the camp, looked on from their front doorsteps.
A vociferous and passionate group of human rights protesters chanted: "No border, no nation, stop deportation".
They threw a rope around some of the migrants to symbolically separate them from the police.
A small number of protesters were arrested during minor scuffles.
But the migrants themselves - at least those of them that are still here - remained calm, and resigned to the inevitable.
Some 278 were taken in by the police. None of them were women, but 132 said they were children. Some looked as young as 13 or 14 years old.
What remains of the camp now is a deserted patch of wasteland
The children have been taken to nearby reception centres, the adults to police stations.
What remains is now a deserted patch of wasteland, encircled by police - and the makeshift shacks and tents the migrants used to call home.
Signs erected forlornly last night - which said "Please don't destroy our jungle - this is our home" - appear to have gone.
Damp pieces of plywood and empty bottles compete for space on the litter-strewn ground.
A tatty, ripped pair of dark trousers lies abandoned in the grass, next to half a loaf of stale, sliced white bread.
A single training shoe sits next to the camp's only tap - where, until the last few days, up to 1,500 migrants would wash.
As I walk around the camp's perimeter, a policeman who has been on duty since the small hours stifles a yawn. Realising I have spotted him doing so, he smiles nervously.
His superiors are pleased with what the officers have achieved today.
The head of the local police says the operation has been a success - and the men detained will be offered the chance to apply for asylum, or to return home. For most of them, home means Afghanistan.
But for the authorities, measuring success is difficult.
The migrants knew their camp was going to be bulldozed. And most, by this morning, had already moved on.
These are desperate people. And they are desperate to get to the UK.
Many suspect a new camp - just as squalid, just as makeshift and just as illegal - is likely to be set up nearby very soon.