US Fish & Wildlife Service


Date of this Version



2019 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.


Ecological Restoration Vol. 37, No. 3, 2019 ISSN 1522-4740 E-ISSN 1543-4079


Due to the many challenges facing waterbird populations (Jia et al. 2018, Wetlands International 2018), it has become common practice to limit disturbance to breeding colonies whenever possible to maximize reproductive success. While this may require often unpopular must also ensure that individuals do not nest at the historical nesting site. One approach is to reduce the quality or quantity of breeding habitat at the historical colony and create or improve habitat at a desired location (Roby et al. 2002, Hartman et al. 2018). However, this jeopardizes the colony if the new site is not adopted. Another option is the use of overhead lines and flagging. This approach is commonly used to deter nuisance species (Pochop et al. 1990) but has also been successful for preventing nesting of various tern species (Roby et al. 2002, Marcus et al. 2007).

The goal of our study was to evaluate the use of a paired attractant and deterrent to facilitate the relocation of a Sterna hirundo (Common Tern) breeding colony from its historical nesting location in the face of extensive disturbance. We hypothesized that the paired use of attractants placed in suitable breeding habitat and deterrents covering the entirety of the historical nesting colony would result in complete relocation of the breeding population to the new target area.