Sternula albifrons sinensis lay their eggs directly

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Sternula albifrons sinensis lay their eggs directly onto the sand. The eggs and chicks are sand-coloured with darker specks which helps to camouflage them. Little Terns are gregarious and are generally seen in small and occasionally very large flocks. The species is partly migratory. Little Terns feed mainly on small fish, plunging in shallow water of channels and estuaries or in the surf on beaches. Current Status Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 : Migratory Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 : endangered Plate 14. Sternula albifrons sinensis Figure 13. Sternula albifrons King Island Biodiversity Management Plan 171
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(Photograph: DPIPWE) sinensis: King Island distribution King Island Biodiversity Management Plan 172
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Existing Conservation Measures The Lavinia State Reserve Draft Management Plan (Parks & Wildlife Service 2004) recommends restriction of vehicular access to April–September (inclusive) for the area of Nine Mile Beach between Lavinia Point south to the mouth of the Sea Elephant River in order to protect shorebird habitat. Temporary fencing to protect nesting habitat was trialled in 2009 at south Yellow Rock beach, though a larger fenced area may be required to protect chicks as they leave nest sites (Woehler 2009). Distribution and Habitat In Australia, Sternula albifrons sinensis occurs from Shark Bay in Western Australia, around northern and eastern Australia, to the east coast of Tasmania and around to the Gulf of St Vincent in South Australia. The species is also widely distributed from Europe, eastern and southeastern Asia and Australasia. Sternula albifrons sinensis occurs in sheltered coastal environments, including lagoons, estuaries, river mouths, lakes, bays, harbours and inlets, and also on exposed ocean beaches. The species usually breeds in small colonies (of up to 50 birds), sometimes with other species of terns including fairy terns, but will also breed solitarily (Woehler 2009). Sternula albifrons sinensis nests on sand-spits, banks, ridges or islets in sheltered coastal environments, and also on wide and flat or gently sloping sandy ocean beaches. Birds forage in the shallow waters of estuaries, coastal lagoons and lakes. Sternula albifrons sinensis is limited to breeding areas with coastal lagoons nearby for fishing in when seas are too rough. Each pair generally has two nest sites to choose from in case of disturbance. Populations Fewer than 10 pairs of Sternula albifrons sinensis are believed to nest in Tasmania, with more than half of these pairs breeding on King Island, making the island an important breeding site for the species in Tasmania (Woehler 2009). Known nesting sites for Sternula albifrons sinensis on King Island include Yellow Rock Beach, Christmas Island, Lavinia Point, and the coast between Sea Elephant River and Cowper Point (Figure 13 & Table 13; Woehler 2009).
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  • Fall '14
  • The Hours, ........., Threatened species, Bass Strait, Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, King Island

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