Images by Kevin Simmonds
Images by Kevin Simmonds
Little Tern Project
Little Tern Project

The problems

Between 1985 and 2000 there has been a long-term decline in the UK with little tern numbers down by 38%.  The following are some of the reasons why:

 

Climate Change: rising seas and coastal flooding pose a problem for little terns, unusual summer weather events and high spring tides causing flooding can flood nests and wash away chicks.

 

Predation:  due to human recreational disturbance on beaches, little terns are forced into fewer, larger colonies.  This in turn, makes them an easier target for predators such as foxes, badgers, kestrels and carrion crow causing breeding failure.

 

Disturbance: the adults will leave the nest if disturbed, leaving their eggs and chicks vulnerable to the cold and predators.  Human activities and dogs cause disturbance if coming too close to nesting areas.

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Little Tern Recovery Project is generously supported by the EU LIFE+ Nature Programme