Little Tern conservation takes off with record season

Date

Monday, 21 February 2022

Release

Karagi Point, The Entrance North has been the site of a second consecutive record-breaking breeding season for the endangered Little Tern this summer. 

Central Coast Council has recently confirmed at least 96 birds successfully fledged at the end of the season. This result breaks last season’s record of 53 successfully fledged Little Terns. 

Council’s Acting Section Manager Environmental Infrastructure Matthew Barnett said that Council’s Environmental Management team have been hard at work since October and throughout the Little Tern breeding season to deliver this conservation project. 

“A lot of work goes into preparing and monitoring the nesting site and we’re so glad to see that our hard work has paid off to help Little Terns breed and protect their young,” Mr Barnett said. 

Council’s conservation efforts have included:

  • enhancing the habitat, such as sand-building to elevate the nesting areas
  • installing fencing to prevent people and dogs disturbing the nesting areas
  • controlling foxes
  • weekly monitoring and data management
  • ongoing community engagement
  • collecting rubbish in and around the nesting site from three times a week to every day.  

Council’s Little Tern conservation project is delivered in partnership with the NSW Government’s Saving our Species Program via the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and the Biodiversity Conservation Division. The Little Tern is listed as an endangered species in NSW. Its population is estimated to be declining by approximately five per cent annually. 

NPWS Threatened Species Officer, Katherine Howard said NPWS has been delighted to support Council in successfully managing The Entrance nesting site, which has produced such fantastic results again this year.

“Our thanks also to the local residents and beach visitors for respecting the fenced area and ‘sharing the shore’ so successfully with Little Terns,” Ms Howard said. 

Council Administrator, Rik Hart said this season’s positive results are in part thanks to the actions of the community. 

“By respecting fenced areas, respecting the rules to not bring dogs to the beach at Karagi Point and taking their rubbish with them, members of the community have contributed to this season’s fantastic result,” Mr Hart said. 

Mr Barnett said that Little Terns are often nesting site faithful, meaning the more success we have at Karagi Point, the more the birds will return in future seasons. 

“Little Terns are here to stay if the conditions are suitable,” Mr Barnett said. 

“We’re happy to see so many people in the community embracing these birds and doing their part to protect the nesting areas. The more people we can get on board to do the right thing, the more we can do to save these special birds.”

This season’s record-breaking result is particularly important as several historically important Little Tern nesting sites elsewhere in NSW have had limited success. This has placed extra emphasis on Karagi Point as a significant nesting site of state-wide importance. 

The majority of the birds have now moved on to quieter, more remote areas of Tuggerah Lakes and rock platforms further north where they will forage to put on weight before migrating north in April. 

Council will conduct one more monitoring session before removing conservation fencing in the coming weeks.


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Last updated : Mon 21 Feb 2022