Fairy terns back in Mandurah

Mandurah's fairy terns have returned. Photo by Cherilyn Corker.
Mandurah's fairy terns have returned. Photo by Cherilyn Corker.

THE fairy terns are back in Mandurah.

Keen tern watchers have spotted them in the estuary and the Marina over the past few days.

It is estimated there are around 50 of the rare birds in the Mandurah area.

Although no terns have been spotted yet at the Mandurah Fairy Tern Sanctuary, the public is asked to keep its distance from the sanctuary fence and breakwater wall behind the site.

City of Mandurah chief executive Mark Newman said disturbance early in the season would deter the birds from nesting but once they had settled, they were a bit more resilient.

“Anyone walking their dog in the vicinity should make sure it is on a lead and any pet cats in the area must be contained,’’ he said.

The sanctuary was established by the City and multiple project partners to provide a safe nesting space near the nesting site on a then vacant development lot.

A number of fairy terns flew repeatedly over the sanctuary last year after it was completed, which confirmed ecological advice that it could take up to three seasons for a colony to successfully nest within the site.

Anyone interested in being involved in the conservation of the threatened species or help in university research on fairy terns should contact environmental.services@mandurah.wa.gov.au