Report 500
Quantifying usage of the marine environment by terns Sterna sp. around their breeding colony SPAs
(2014)
Wilson L. J., Black J., Brewer, M. J., Potts, J. M., Kuepfer, A., Win I., Kober K., Bingham C., Mavor R. & Webb A.
JNCC has been working with the four Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies to identify important marine areas around the UK suitable for designation as marine SPAs to complement the existing terrestrial suite. The aim of the work reported here was to provide evidence that could help support the identification of marine SPAs for terns.
 

Introduction

 

There are five species of tern breeding in Great Britain: Arctic tern Sterna paradisaea, Sandwich tern S. sandvicensis, common tern S. hirundo, little tern Sternula albifrons and roseate tern Sterna dougallii. The latter two species are among the rarest seabirds breeding in Great Britain and all five species of tern are listed on Annex 1 of the EU Birds Directive.

This report describes work undertaken between 2009 and 2013 to quantify usage of the marine environment by the four larger tern Sterna species around their breeding colony SPAs in the UK where these remain regularly occupied (32 colony SPAs). Up to three years of targeted data collection were carried out (largely during chick rearing) around ten colony SPAs from 2009 to 2011 using visual tracking, a non-invasive method for quantifying the use of the marine environment by breeding terns of known provenance (colony of origin). Additional visual tracking data were also collated for two colony SPAs through a data-sharing agreement.

 
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ISSN 0963 8901
 
Please cite as: Wilson L. J., Black J., Brewer, M. J., Potts, J. M., Kuepfer, A., Win I., Kober K., Bingham C., Mavor R. & Webb A., (2014), Quantifying usage of the marine environment by terns Sterna sp. around their breeding colony SPAs, JNCC Report 500, ISSN 0963 8901