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Some good Terns deserve another

Council erects fence.

Some good Terns deserve another Photo: Luke Ullrich, words by Allan Benson

Central Coast Council have acted quickly to erect a fence to protect the nesting Little Terns at the north side of The Entrance at Karagai Point

“It is really pleasing that the Council has been so proactive “said Alan Morris, the Birdlife Australia Guardian for the Tuggerah Lakes Key Biodiversity area.

“Little Terns are a Threatened Species in NSW, nesting at only twelve sites on the NSW coast. Little Terns spend the Australian winter around Japan but return every year to breed. About 400 pairs breed in NSW every year but breeding success is extremely variable.”

"This fence is really important as the greatest threat to nesting success is predation by Silver Gulls, Australian  Ravens, foxes and dogs. Human distributions and dog walkers increase the risk of predation because the parents are forced off the nest leaving eggs and young vulnerable."  

"We urge people to respect the fence and keep dogs on leads in this area to give the birds every opportunity to breed.” said Mr Morris.

Mr Morris said “At present there are only 4 pairs nesting. However, the chance of successful breeding with only eight birds protecting the eggs and young is not great. As many as 50 young have been raised at this site previously but the normal number is in the 12 to 30 range depending on conditions."

The fence also protects the nesting Red-capped Plovers and other migratory shorebirds that like to roost in such protected areas. Local bird watchers will monitor the site on a regular basis.