Behoud van de Lachstern in Europa (Engelstalige lezing)

Markus Risch

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.

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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.