Status and Management of Roseate Terns (Sterna dougallii) in Nova Scotia
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The most important breeding colonies for endangered roseate terns in Canada occur on coastal islands in Nova Scotia. The main threat to productivity at these sites appears to be predation, particularly from gulls. The goal of this paper is twofold: 1) to present the results of recent roseate tern surveys in Nova Scotia and 2) to report on the results of a non-lethal gull control program at one of the main breeding sites in the province. The results of the surveys suggest that the number of breeding pairs (approximately 130) in the province has remained relatively stable, and is similar to numbers reported 20 years ago. Breeding sites have, however, fluctuated in number from a high of 10 sites in 1999 to a low of 3 in 2003. Although the concentration of birds to few locations makes some management options easier, it also increases their vulnerability to chance events. The non-lethal gull control program initiated on Country Island in 1998 has proven relatively successful, resulting in an increase in the numbers of breeding common, arctic and roseate terns on the island and a decrease in predation of tern eggs and chicks. Although this program has been effective in reducing predation, it must be maintained in the long-term if these birds are to breed successfully.