THE fairy tern breeding sanctuary established by Fremantle Ports at the northern end of Rous Head is again being used as a nesting site.
Fremantle Ports environmental advisor Adam van der Beeke said the fairy terns began courting over the site in mid-November and had arrived in large numbers. Chicks are expected to begin hatching this week and numbers will peak at the start of next month.
“Very little is known about the structure of our local migratory sub-population of fairy terns, the role of the sanctuary in maintaining this population, and its relationship with other local breeding sites and roosts,” Mr van der Beeke said.
“We are planning to band the new chicks in early January before they can fly to help us understand more about their movements and the breeding performance of the colony.”
The banding will be supervised by Nic Dunlop, a terrestrial and marine ecologist with an interest in seabird population dynamics and will involve an experienced team of volunteers.
The bird bands are provided by the Federal Government under the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme. The scheme manages the collection of information on threatened and migratory bird and bat species and has issued authority to Dr Dunlop to supervise the Fremantle banding.
To help keep the fairy terns safe in their fenced sanctuary and to maximise the success of the breeding effort, the public is asked to stay outside of the fenced area and to report any trespassers.