The RSPB is assisting Norfolk Constabulary in an appeal for information into the theft of seven clutches of Little Tern eggs from a colony near Winterton, Norfolk.
EU Life+ Little Tern Recovery Project volunteers and staff work shifts to monitor the terns throughout daylight hours, when the birds are most vulnerable to disturbance. However, in the early hours of the morning of Thursday 20 June, RSPB Little Tern wardens discovered that up to 20 eggs had been illegally stolen from seven nests. Human footprints were identified leading up to each nest.
Little Tern is one of the UK's rarest breeding seabirds, having suffered serious declines over the past 25 years. In the 1980s there were 2,500 breeding pairs but this fell to fewer than 2,000 pairs in 2000, and it is now estimated that there are currently a maximum of 1,500 pairs.