Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute (MTRI)

Conservation of breeding Roseate Terns in Kespukwitk

Alexis Saulnier1,2, Nick Knutson1,2, Sophie Landry1, Luc Bilodeau1, Alix d’Entremont3, Ted D’Eon3, Mark Mallory2, Julie McKnight4, Pam Mills5, Shawn Craik1  

1Département des sciences, Université Sainte-Anne, Pointe-de-l’Église, NS

2Biology Department, Acadia University, Wolfville, NS

3Island steward, West Pubnico, NS

4Canadian Wildlife Service – Environment and Climate Change Canada, Dartmouth, NS

5Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources and Renewables, Kentville, NS

Islands in Lobster Bay, Nova Scotia, currently support about 75% of the Canadian breeding population of Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii). Despite this, the current population (40-50 pairs/year) does not meet the population goal of 80 pairs. Major threats to breeding Roseate Terns include predation by gulls, and invasive weed encroachment and erosion of nesting habitat. Little is known of the dietary and habitat requirements of these terns, though it is suspected that foraging habitat is limited. Our project addresses threats to breeding Roseate Terns by ensuring that they nest successfully in Lobster Bay each year, and research has informed about patterns of nest-site selection, diet, and foraging habitat use by Roseate Terns and sympatrically-nesting Common (S. hirundo) and Arctic terns (S. paradisaea). Naturalists and students are trained and play a lead role in tern nest monitoring and habitat enhancement, and lobster fishers are helping identify islands potentially used by nesting terns. Through this meaningful engagement in stewardship activities, community members and students have a deeper understanding of challenges facing Roseate Terns and the skills needed to help recover the species in Canada.

Keywords: Roseate Tern, Endangered Species, Conservation, Stewardship, Research

Presentation type: poster


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