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.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

China’s rarest seabird benefits from colony restoration

October 2013. Until this year, there were only two known breeding colonies of the Critically Endangered Chinese Crested Tern: the Mazu Islands off the coast of Fujian, and the Wuzhishan Islands off Zhejiang. However, this summer an innovative tern colony restoration project has apparently established another.

Earlier this year, a small island called Tiedun Dao in the Jiushan Islands - an archipelago where Chinese Crested Terns used to breed - was chosen for colony restoration. The restoration team expected it would take some years before there was any hope of attracting the birds back. Their plan was to use decoys and playback tern calls to initially attract Great Crested Terns to Tiedun Dao. It was hoped that the Great Crested Terns would initially colonise the island, their numbers would then gradually grow, and that Chinese Crested Terns, which have always been found nesting within large colonies of Great Crested Terns, might eventually follow too.

Immediate success
Yet by late September, and at the first attempt, a substantial new colony of Great Crested Terns had arrived on Tiedun Dao, raised hundreds of young and, among them, at least one Chinese Crested Tern chick also successfully fledged.

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