This delightful chattering seabird, with its distinctive yellow beak is suffering the effects of climate change and human disturbance, resulting in it becoming one of the UK’s rarest breeding seabirds.
Since the 1970's, wardens have supervised many little tern colonies, which has substantially reduced human disturbance, but more work needs to be done.
This is where the EU LIFE+ Nature Little Tern Recovery Project will help.
The five-year project is an 11-organisation partnership working together to ensure the little tern’s long-term future. Enhanced management and habitat restoration/creation will be carried out at 20 sites identified as containing important UK colonies. These sites are all located within Special Protection Areas (SPAs) which form part of the Natura 2000 network of sites designated for their international European importance for wildlife. SPAs are classified under the EU Birds Directive helping protect and manage areas which are important for rare and vulnerable birds.
The project will help keep people informed of the conservation issues facing little terns, particularly in the local communities close to the current and potential colony sites. It will also ensure that there is action on engagement with statutory agencies, local authorities and policy makers in government ensuring long-term conservation plans can work successfully to support little terns into the future.
At the end of the project, information gathered and lessons learnt will shape a UK little tern conservation strategy.
We believe that by working together with the local communities, beach users, the project partners and other organisations we can ensure this little seabird will remain a summer inhabitant along our shores.