Behoud van de Lachstern in Europa (Engelstalige lezing)
In historical times, the central-european breeding population of the Gull-billed Tern has never been large in terms of numbers or extensive in range. Over the last 70 years, numbers have dropped by 90% while the geographical distribution shifted from northern Denmark to the German North Sea coast.
Today there is only one isolated colony left (in the River Elbe estuary) with 42 breeding pairs, at the brink of extinction. After about 10 years without substantial reproduction, a conservation project was launched in 2011 that aims to preserve the Gull-billed Tern as a breeding bird species for the state of Schleswig-Holstein and Germany. The project rendered successful so far. I will report about aims, threats, methods and results, featuring the contributions of Dutch supporters who have significantly helped to increase the knowledge about this peculiar tern species that I believe still holds some secrets to be explored for science and conservation.