White Island Tern Restoration Project Background and Summary
Shoals intern, Colleen Cassidy and a Common Tern adult (self-portrait)
Tern chicks in hand (photo by Jason Koski, Cornell University Photography).
In 1997, the Audubon Society of New Hampshire, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department Nongame Program, the Office of State Planning Coastal Program, the Department of Resources and Economic Development - Parks Division, USDA - Animal Damage Control, Shoals Marine Laboratory, Isles of Shoals Steamship Company, Gulf of Maine Tern Working Group and the US Fish and Wildlife Service worked cooperatively to successfully complete the first year of this project.
Since 1997, protection efforts have been ongoing to restore the tern colony at the Isles of Shoals. Common terns (Sterna hirundo), a state endangered species, formerly were abundant along the New Hampshire coast and offshore islands. However, changes in human populations and increases in gull populations ultimately led to the decline of terns up and down the Atlantic coast.
The goals of the Tern Restoration Project are to protect, manage and enhance the breeding population of common (state endangered), roseate (state and federally endangered), and arctic terns (state threatened) on Seavey Island and protect the population on White Island. Efforts have been largely successful since the implementation of the program.