New LIFE Roseate Tern Project commences 2016
This year, BirdWatch Ireland, in partnership with the RSPB and North Wales Wildlife Trust, will start a 5-year EU LIFE-funded programme to boost the conservation status of Roseate Terns in northwest Europe. Here in Ireland we have two thriving and well-managed colonies, at Rockabill (Co. Dublin) and Lady’s Island Lake (Co. Wexford), thanks to long-term support from NPWS, and in Britain, there is one healthy Roseate Tern colony at Coquet Island in Northumberland.
(Photo: Laura Glenister)
BirdWatch Ireland’s Senior Conservation Officer for Seabirds, Dr. Stephen Newton explains: "With 80% of this population breeding on Rockabill, there is a need to boost the fortunes at other colonies in Wales, Scotland and England to reduce their vulnerability."
The funds from the European Union LIFE Programme will provide additional support to our work at Rockabill and on the Dalkey Islands.
"This funding will help us improve management for Roseate Terns in Ireland – including longer wardening seasons to see out the entire nesting period, as well as the replacement of aging nestboxes which support well in excess of 50% of nesting terns. The funding will also help us to manage the threats from increasing numbers of scavenging Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls that loaf on the periphery of the Rockabill and will help us control the threats from rats on the Dalkey Islands", Stephen noted.
Roseate Tern standing beside its nestbox on Rockabill Island
(Photo: Maeve Maher-McWilliams)
The funding will also help to improve the living quarters for the wardens on Rockabill for whom the old lighthouse cottage is home for up to for more than 3 months each summer. Our work will contribute to the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Conservation Plan for the Dalkey islands.
Rockabill Island, Co. Dublin, home to Europe's largest breeding colony of Roseate Terns
(Photo: Julie Roe)