Turning Rigby into a paradise for terns

When the terns return to Rigby Island on the Gippsland Lakes after their long journeys from South Australia, southern Queensland and NSW, they’re in for happy landings.

DELWP and Parks Victoria have completed habitat restoration works on the island to improve nesting sites for Little Terns and Fairy Terns, ensuring that everything is ready for them when they get here.

Terns like to nest on flat or gently undulating sites, not in dunes as they don’t provide the moisture needed for ideal nesting sites. So, a local dozer contractor was employed to help push over mounds on the site and distribute the sand into a much more tern-friendly nesting environment.

The sandy nesting area will now weather, bringing shells to the surface, which will help camouflage the tern eggs perfectly.

There will also be new signs installed alerting the public that this is a bird conservation area and dogs are not permitted on site.

To ensure the small terns have the best possible opportunity to breed, DELWP Biodiversity staff and members of Birdlife East Gippsland will work closely together from October through to March conducting surveys of tern numbers, breeding activity and fledgling success.

This project is funded by the Victorian State Government for the Gippsland Lakes.

This update and photos are courtesy of DELWP Gippsland.