Little tern recovery project
Little terns arrive back on UK shores in April and May, where they breed on sand and shingle beaches, spits or inshore islets.
- Increase the total population of little terns across the project colony sites through enhanced management of existing breeding sites and restoration and creation of new or recently abandoned sites.
- Protection of little terns and their nests and eggs from threats such as disturbance and predation.
- Improve the understanding of little tern population and movements (demography) by undertaking a colour ringing programme to inform long-term conservation strategies.
- Monitoring using standardised recording across sites to measure the success of the breeding attempts and feed this back to help inform each successive annual summer work programme.
- Local communities and other interested parties will learn about the struggles of this scarce seabird, helping to raise support for the work at the UK colonies.
- Build up our knowledge and best practice case studies by increased networking with other relevant projects in the UK, Europe and North America.
- Work with statutory agencies and local authorities to find ways to support little tern conservation and extend the protection measures when appropriate.
- September 2013 - project funding awarded and the project began.
- 18 and 29 November 2013 - Two project start-up meetings held in York and Norwich for all partners involved.
- December 2013/January 2014 - Winter storms altered many of the project site habitats.
- February/March 2014 - The Communications Group, Technical Group and Project Steering Group met for the first time.
- 17 March 2014 - Visit by John Houston (Astrale) external monitor for the Commission with positive outcomes.
- April 2014 - First little terns were seen at some of the colonies on the second week of April.
- 14 April 2014 - National press release outlined the challenges for little terns and gave details of the project partnership - great coverage in Wales where sadly there is only one colony left.
- May 2014 - Nesting has begun but already some nests have been washed out by high tides.
- 2 June 2014 - LIFE Inception Report covering the project's first nine months completed and sent to the EU Commission.
- The RSPB
- Cumbria Wildlife Trust
- Denbighshire County Council
- Durham County Council
- Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust
- Northumberland County Council
- Northumberland Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) Partnership
- Natural England
- National Trust
- Spurn Bird Observatory Trust Ltd
- Industry Nature Conservation Association