News Item

Arctic terns flourish

Arctic tern numbers are soaring after the National Trust babysat fledglings.

Trust rangers babysat fledgling chicks for 24 hours a day during the 4 months of May to August to ensure that they were protected from high tides and predators.

As a result, 500 Arctic terns and 5 internationally threatened little terns have flown their Northumberland nesting sites unscathed. In 2016, just 2 Arctic terns and 5 little terns managed to fledge due of the threat from stoats, foxes, marine pollution and tidal surges. The vigil is part of ongoing conservation efforts to protect the birds, which flock to the Northumberland Coast each summer to breed.

This summer, the National Trust bought 200 acres of saltmarsh, woodland, hedgerows, pasture and sand dunes at Tughall Mill, to make sure the birds were undisturbed. Their Northumberland Coast General Manager commented 'We are passionate about looking after special places for the benefit of people, wildlife and nature. We already care for 12 miles of the Northumberland Coast; now we will be able to look after the wider landscape, helping wildlife and nature flourish, as well as safeguarding the site for future generations.'

Around 1,800 breeding pairs of Arctic terns return from Antarctica between May and July each year. Last year, one tagged tern from the Farne Islands is reported to have flown 59,650 miles in one migration - over twice the circumference of the Earth.

In caring for the land, the National Trust will link up hedgerows to create wildlife corridors, as well as improve woodland areas through the removal of non-native invasive species. This work will also allow shorebird colonies, farmland birds and declining waders, such as curlew, lapwing and ringed plover, to flourish.

The Arctic tern, due to its incredible migration capability, was part of the Institute's original logo; it remains the Institute's symbol.

Details from The Telegraph link below . .

  • 10 September 2017
  • RIN

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