A major setback for the Fairy Tern breeding program.
In the last week, 15 chicks and 5 adult birds have been killed or disappeared from the Mandurah Fairy Tern sanctuary.
It’s believed a feral cat entered the sanctuary on at least two occasions and killed the birds. A number of tracks and faecal deposits were found, confirming reports from the public of a large white cat in the area.
As a result, a number of Fairy Terns have abandoned their nests, leaving a number of eggs unprotected and without care. It is uncertain if the adults will return to their nests and if the eggs will survive.
Fairy Terns are listed as a vulnerable species under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, which means they are considered important on a national scale.
City of Mandurah CEO Mark Newman said this has been a terrible setback for the Fairy Tern conservation program.
”The City has been working with a number of project partners, volunteers and researchers to establish a local sanctuary to protect the birds. The program was showing some great results developing the largest breeding colony in the Perth/Peel area this season.
“We’re asking the local community for their support to help protect this vulnerable species, by keeping their cats indoors until the end of the Fairy Tern breeding season in late January,” Mr Newman said.
Anyone interested in being involved in the conservation of this threatened species please contact the City of Mandurah’s Environmental Services via email - firstname.lastname@example.org.