Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Rare bird numbers skyrocket on Rockabill!

The Rockablog comes out of hibernation early this year with some great news - the Rockabill conservation project has been nominated for a prestigious award - a Natura 2000 award!

For those of you who have voted, you have our heartfelt thanks! It's the 30th year of the Rockabill conservation project, and winning this award would be a great way to mark that milestone. I do however understand if there are some of you who need a bit more convincing, so in the coming weeks we'll have a number of blogs, each with a new (and very convincing) reason as to why you should give Rockabill your vote!

Reason #1 - Roseate Tern numbers have skyrocketed as a direct result of the Rockabill conservation project.

Roseate Terns on Rockabill. Photo by B Burke, taken under NPWS license.

Roseate Tern chick. Photo by B. Burke, picture taken under NPWS license.

When the project began in 1989 there was only 189 pairs of Roseate Terns on Rockabill, and less than 500 in Ireland and the UK in total. Fast-forward to 2017 and we had over 1,600 pairs on Rockabill - ten times what we started with. And for a bird that only lays 1 or 2 eggs each year, that's an amazing result! Take a look at the graph below - you just don't see population trends like that anywhere, especially over such a long period, but the Rockabill Roseate Tern population has been going up and up and up thanks to years of conservation efforts. 

Roseate Tern numbers since the start of the Rockabill conservation project - that kind of upward trend is very very rare in conservation!

Adult and fledgling Roseate Tern. Photo by B. Burke, picture taken under NPWS license.

The Rockabill population now represents 85% of the north-west European population of Roseate Terns and Rockabill has helped secure the future of the species in this part of the world - surely that's worth a vote?! Rockabill has been described as the 'Roseate Tern factory' of Europe.

Adult and fledgling Roseate Terns on Rockabill. Photo by B Burke

No comments:

Post a Comment