Mandurah’s fairy tern sanctuary to be monitored for the next three years

Volunteers at the <i>fairy tern</i> sanctuary.
Volunteers at the fairy tern sanctuary.

THIRTEEN volunteers attended a busy bee at Mandurah Fairy Tern Sanctuary to create a perfect habitat.

Over the 2016-2017 breeding season, a colony nested on a cleared development site requiring the postponement of building.

The return of the fairy terns to Mandurah to nest generated significant interest particularly after two birds were identified as being 20 years old when the previous record was 17.

Last year, the City of Mandurah in partnership with a number of organisations, was successful in acquiring grant funding to establish the Mandurah Fairy Tern Sanctuary and it is expected the survival of the vulnerable species will rely increasingly on managed sites like Mandurah’s, the second of its kind.

The sanctuary is one of several sites to be monitored as part of new research over the next three years by Murdoch University PhD student Claire Greenwell.

The results will help inform the development of successful conservation strategies in the South West and could be used as the basis for a national recovery plan.

Volunteers can be involved in various capacities including trialling ‘callers’ and recording sightings over different stages of the nesting season.

The fairy tern is a small but significant coastal bird species in decline.

Increased extreme weather, intensive coastal use and predation by feral and domestic animals are such significant threats that they are now listed as vulnerable under State and Federal legislation.

Ms Greenwell will discuss her research at the next meeting of Mandurah Environment Volunteers forum at the Tuckey Room on Thursday, August 30 between 4-7pm.