Bumper fairy tern season at popular Perth spot as the birds abandon port sanctuary

Fairy terns at Point Walter. Picture: Claire Greenwell
Fairy terns at Point Walter. Picture: Claire Greenwell

THE public has been thanked for their contribution in helping to allow for a bumper breeding season for fairy terns at the Point Walter spit.

The City of Melville has reported that an estimate 130 birds have nested on the spit and produced more than 100 chicks and this compares to 70 pairs producing about 18 fledglings last year.

The City works with the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, who are responsible with managing the land, to protect the fairy terns.

City acting environmental coordinator Jacklyn Kelly said they were being kept up to date with the fairy terns by Murdoch University PhD student Claire Greenwell.

“Claire has told us that there are two colonies on the spit this season,” she said.

“Last year we had foxes and cats attack the fairy terns, similar to an incident in Mandurah but this year there hasn’t been anything like that.

“Our role has been around awareness and letting people know you can’t bring your dogs down there and to keep cats locked up at night.”

The bumper season is in contrast to the Fremantle Ports’ Rous Head sanctuary, which has seen no fairy terns return to it after six previous continuous seasons.

Ms Greenwell said the lack of birds at the site this season was not unusual and that they would almost certainly use the site in the future.