Early birds: Little Terns begin nesting season

by LukeAdmin

Photo by Andrew Robinson

The Little Terns have arrived at The Entrance North to begin nesting and Central Coast Council wants to remind everyone on how they can help protect the endangered species during this critical time.

Little Terns migrate from South-east Asia to Australia each year and are protected under both State and Federal threatened species legislation. 

Over the last two Little Tern breeding seasons, Council has carried out best practice management at Karagi Point, supported by the community, which has resulted in record-breaking breeding success and is significantly contributing to the long-term survival of the species.

Council’s Director Environment and Planning Dr Alice Howe said she hopes the community will continue to work with Council to keep the Little Terns safe and ensure breeding success during this important time.

“While it’s exciting to see these rare birds nesting, we ask visitors to the area to keep back from the fenced area as the Little Terns are highly sensitive to disturbance and can abandon their nest site if they feel unsafe,” Dr Howe said.

“We’ve also noticed a significant amount of rubbish being left in the area, which can attract predators and disturb their nesting site, so please remember to take your litter with you.

“Nesting has started, and we currently have more than 85 breeding pairs of the Little Terns and are hoping to see more arrive and nest as the season continues throughout summer.”

Council, in consultation with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and NSW Biodiversity and Conservation Division, have installed robust temporary fencing and signage around the breeding area to protect the eggs and chicks – but there’s more that can be done, including:

  • Keeping well back from the fenced area
  • Taking your litter with you when leaving the beach – especially all food waste, fishing tackle and bait, as this can attract predators or lead to entanglement (bins are located in the car park)
  • Avoiding being unnecessarily noisy (loud music, boat and jet ski motors, fireworks etc.)
  • Avoiding flying kites and drones near the fenced area (this can lead to colony abandonment)
  • Reporting fox sightings in the area
  • Keeping your cats indoors at night and dogs away from the reserve.

Dogs (including dogs on leads) are prohibited from Karagi Point at any time. Unauthorised disturbance to endangered species or their nest could result in severe financial penalties; Council staff and rangers will be regularly patrolling the area.

Council’s Administrator Rik Hart said we’re very lucky to have this endangered species visit from as far away as Indonesia and South-east Asia, even further, every summer.

“It’s pleasing to see the Little Terns continue to use this particular site for nesting, which is a reflection of Council’s management efforts over the last few years,” Mr Hart said.

“I want to thank the community for being respectful of the nesting sites and urge them to continue to take care and obey the temporary fencing and signage, so we may get to enjoy these special visitors and their growing families.”

To assist in the conservation program, the community are asked to be watchful for eggs or chicks that may appear outside the fenced area, and to report the sightings if seen, as well as report any unauthorised activities or other issues to Council on 4306 7900.

This project is also supported in part by the NSW Government’s Saving our Species program.

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