Migration flyway of the Mediterranean breeding Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis emigratus


The Lesser Crested Tern Thalasseus bengalensis emigratus breeding population in the Mediterranean is found
exclusively in Libya, on the two coastal islands of Gara and Elba and one wetland on the mainland coast at Benghazi.
In order to improve knowledge of the species migration to wintering quarters in West Africa, a ringing programme was
conducted from 2006–2008 and 2009–2012. From a total of 1 354 nestlings ringed using metal and/or colour rings,
64 were recovered along their flyway and in their wintering range, representing 6.9% of birds ringed with both colour
and metal rings. This provided the opportunity to collect information on post-natal movements (staging and wintering
ranges), breeding philopatry and recruitment, in addition to a preliminary estimate of their migration journey duration.
This paper indicates sighting and recovery distributions in space and time, highlighting the important areas for the
species during its journey between breeding and wintering sites. The findings indicate that several areas where ringed
terns stop-over during pre- and post-breeding migration journeys are not protected, causing an additional threat to their
survival, as some wintering areas are also not protected. Conservation of this highly localised and threatened population
needs not only to address protection at breeding sites but also at migratory stop-overs and wintering strongholds.

Related Islands
Other Keywords
Lesser Crested Tern, Sterne voyageuse, Libye, baguage, ringing, Libya
A. Hamza, Nicola Baccetti, Joe Sultana, Jaber Yahia, Marco Zantello, Adriano de Faveri, Nick Cutts, John Borg, Hichem Azafzaf, Pierre Defos du Rau, Esam Bourass, Khaled Etayeb & Michael Elliott
Type of Document
Publication scientifique
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In Atlas
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Accès libre