*You can help save this endangered bird species*



The Little Tern
(Sterna Albifrons)

The "Little Tern"  is an endangered bird species. The small but very important colony of Little Terns which annually breeds at Nambucca Heads is in a particularly parlous condition. For
these reasons the assistance of local residents and visitors is critical to the colony's recovery and ongoing viability.

A group of tiny sea birds flies from Eastern Asia  to Nambucca Heads each summer in an exhausting journey of some 6,000 kms. The truly quite delightful Little Terns come to the large sand groin which comprises the southern headland at the entrance to Nambucca River. This is the area most local residents call South Beach.

The Little Terns begin arriving from October. They build their nests, hatch their young and stay on through into February before returning to their alternate habitat in Eastern Asia.

The size of the local colony has dramatically diminished during the last few seasons. Dogs, foxes, human intrusions and 4WD vehicles on the beach are the main reasons for this sad outcome.

The Little Terns, like many Australians, spend summer on the beach. This leads to them often getting a hard time from humans. Their nests are mere scrapes in the sand. Their eggs, usually laid in clutches of two or three, are rather well camouflaged and easily trodden upon by the unaware. Little Tern eggs are lightly speckled and only 30mm long. Once hatched the young are left alone during the day whilst the parents are out collecting food.

A protective fence has been built around most of Nambucca Heads' Little Tern colony to aid their survival. Beach-goers are asked to keep well clear of the nesting area and obey all warning signs. The fenced area may not be entered and should not be even approached as some nests are actually outside the fenced area but in the nearby vicinity.

Drivers of 4WD and other beach vehicles are required to stay well clear of the nesting area.

Fines and penalties up to $250,000 or two years gaol can be imposed on those found to take, harm or kill an endangered species in NSW. The Public are requested to urgently report any suspicious activity in or around the Nambucca Heads Little Tern colony. Kindly phone a Ranger on (02) 6651 9522.

It is extremely important for all residents to publicise this matter in order that these wonderful little creatures may be saved. Please help by bringing this information to the attention of your neighbours, friends and visitors.

This webpage was created by Nambucca Graphics on a completely gratis basis and is hosted by The Nambucca Web gateway site without charge.


Assistance with this article was kindly provided
by the National Parks and Wildlife Service
Coffs Harbour NSW Australia
Phone (02) 6651 9522

Click here for additional info about the Little Tern
as provided by Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service


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