The rose tern – the rarest nesting seabird in Great Britain – has had a record year with 130 breeding pairs on Coquet Island, the only breeding colony in Great Britain.
This is the fifth straight year the numbers have risen on Coquet Island, a steady increase from 104 couples in 2016.
Rose terns almost died out in the 19th century because their feathers in women’s hats were in demand. In 1989 there were only 467 pairs in the UK and Ireland, but targeted conservation efforts have brought them to 2028 pairs by 2020.
This year the RSPB is celebrating its 50th anniversary on Coquet Island. Since taking over management of Coquet Island in 1970, the RSPB has used a wide range of methods to increase the number of rose tern, such as: B. the installation of nest boxes, the testing of new techniques such as seagull scaring and “aerolasers” to prevent the predators of other birds and to minimize disturbance and the creation of a lost habitat.
Roseate Tern, Copyright Glyn Sellors, from the Surfbirds Galleries
Paul Morrison, RSPB Northumberland Coast Site Manager, said, “When I started working on Coquet Island 36 years ago, there was hardly a rose tern in sight and I have great pleasure to see dozens of them congregating this spring their chicks. Earlier this year we were able to reinstall webcams so people could see this marvel for themselves, and we’ve already had a staggering 375,000 views! We plan to reinstall the webcams next year. So if you want to see the antics of these wonderful terns, check back next spring.
“A record year is a fantastic 50th birthday gift for Coquet Island, and I would like to say a big thank you to the staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly to help these special birds. I am really optimistic that with such continued commitment we can bring terns back from extinction in the UK. “
These conservation efforts were supported through the EU-funded LIFE Rose Tern Restoration Project. This five-year partnership between the RSPB, the North Wales Wildlife Trust and BirdWatch Ireland focused on protecting the three remaining tern colonies in the UK and Ireland while restoring five of its historic sites for possible repopulation and laying the groundwork for further rosy tern recovery .
In September the RSPB launched a new campaign to revitalize our world, pushing for legally binding goals to restore nature and achieve green recovery across all UK governments. To join our mission to create a healthier, happier, and more natural world that we can all live in, sign up for the campaign and claim goals to revitalize our world. visit rspb.org.uk/ReviveOurWorld.