As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday 27 September 2018

Road to recovery for the Roseate Tern

11 Sep 2018

By Chantal Macleod-Nolan
Neighbouring BirdLife partners, RSPB (UK) and BirdWatch Ireland, have joined forces to put Europe’s rarest breeding seabird, the roseate tern, on the road to recovery.
The history of Europe’s rarest breeding seabird, the roseate tern Sterna dougallii, in Britain and Ireland has been a rocky one. Its characteristic pink breast (in breeding) plumage was once prized for fashionable hats, driving them to verge of extinction back in the 19th Century. Although the creation of wildlife laws brought them much-needed protection, the 1970s saw another population crash, with only 467 pairs remaining by 1989.
Long-term conservation efforts at its remaining three colonies – Rockabill Island and Lady’s Island Lake on Ireland’s east coast and Coquet in Northumberland, UK – have been rewarded with steady growth, reaching a record level of 1,980 pairs in 2018. As in previous years, the growth was mostly driven by Rockabill with 1,633 pairs recorded, but also Lady’s Island with 227 pairs and Coquet with 118 pairs. The productivity on Rockabill has been declining in recent years, falling to a low of 0.66 chicks per pair in 2016 and only slightly better 0.83 last year. On the other hand, Coquet had an exceptional productivity of 1.50 chicks per pair in 2017.

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