Disturbance to tern colony

To: Peter Shute <>, "" <>, "" <>
Subject: Disturbance to tern colony
From: Peter Shute <>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2012 09:41:27 +1100
This is a reply to my question from Eric Woehler, BirdLife Tasmania convenor:

*       the colony was known to Parks & Wildlife Service (PWS) and the permit 
issued for the Mark Webber Challenge specifically prohibited helicopter 
operations over beaches to protect beach-nesting shorebirds and terns, and 
feeding/roosting sites of seabirds and shorebirds. BirdLife Tasmania works with 
PWS in conducting beach-nesting bird surveys of the areas to be used by the MWC 
in the weeks before the event to identify sensitive/no-go areas which are 
incorporated into the event planning.
*       the helicopter was observed 20m above the beach and all nesting fairy 
terns were massively disturbed by the helicopter; the incident was witnessed by 
a senior PWS Ranger.
*       the colony was being monitored and there were approximately 70 nests 
with eggs/chicks present. Based on fairy and little tern surveys over the last 
4 or 5 years, we have fewer than 200 pairs of fairy terns in Tasmania, and 
fewer than 10 pairs of little terns in Tasmania; we believe the colony 
disturbed by the helicopter represents between 30 and 50% of the breeding 
effort this season.
*       the permit was specifically for the MWC and was not a statewide permit

This sounds to me like the pilot, or somebody instructing them, paid no 
attention to the information that had been provided.

Peter Shute

> -----Original Message-----
> From:  
>  On Behalf Of 
> Peter Shute
> Sent: Sunday, 2 December 2012 12:30 PM
> To: ; 
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Disturbance to tern colony
> "He said a permit issued by the state Parks and Wildlife 
> Service specifically called for the protection of 
> beach-nesting birds to prevent just such an event."
> Would this be a permit for that landing, or a general state 
> wide permit?
> Peter Shute
> --------------------------
> Sent using BlackBerry

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