The public is urged to avoid disturbing the little terns during the breeding season

Taipei, May 28 (CNA) The Ocean Conservation Administration (OCA) on Saturday called on the public to avoid activities that disturb lesser terns, a type of seabird that typically breeds from April to July on coastal areas and inland waterways in parts of Taiwan.

According to the OCA, one of the main threats to this shore-nesting migratory bird is human disturbance.

During last year’s breeding season, the administration said conservationists found several nesting sites that had been attacked by stray dogs, while some also showed signs of human disturbance. , as tire tracks were found on the nests.

All of this can affect the reproductive success rate of little terns, also known as Sternula albifrons sinensis, he said.

Working in conjunction with National Taiwan University and volunteers from local wild bird societies, the OCA said conservationists conducted a survey last year of the known natural nesting sites of the bird. bird in Yilan, Changhua and Chiayi counties.

For the first time, the OCA said it has also spotted new nesting sites, including the Hualien River and Xihu River estuaries in Houlong Township in Miaoli, Budai Wetland Park in Chiayi and in a detention pool in Kaohsiung.

Based on last year’s survey, conservationists were able to uncover 2,250 nests, the Oceans Administration said, noting that these seabirds can be found in the wild all year. year round and are often spotted singly or in groups around coastal areas, estuaries, swamps, and fish farms.

The birds typically lay one to three eggs in a nest, and male and female terns take turns incubating them, the OCA said.

According to the administration, the little tern is a protected species in Taiwan.

Anyone caught disturbing, chasing or killing little terns could face criminal charges under the Wildlife Conservation Act, the OCA has warned, urging the public to avoid engaging in activities that could harm these birds.