Least Tern

Species Name: Sternula antillarum

Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pancamo/4635585506/in/photolist-84CA53-fzoZKE-fz9Hpg-vpTva4-ozHRuz-G5V4be-fz9GaV-853htx-ozJnsw-ta4c8g-fTUuQt-a7a1Mx-oSdRj6-862SCs-a7ejG4-ozJZFa-oQc5iQ-nLNmo1-ozJuHb-fjD5q8-8aW5Ka-hzrh7C-oQccjy-8fLrME-ozJz2w-oSdTaa-nAd
Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pancamo/4635585506/in/photolist-84CA53-fzoZKE-fz9Hpg-vpTva4-ozHRuz-G5V4be-fz9GaV-853htx-ozJnsw-ta4c8g-fTUuQt-a7a1Mx-oSdRj6-862SCs-a7ejG4-ozJZFa-oQc5iQ-nLNmo1-ozJuHb-fjD5q8-8aW5Ka-hzrh7C-oQccjy-8fLrME-ozJz2w-oSdTaa-nAd

Species Distribution in Massachusetts

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Federal Rank: None

Massachusetts State Rank: Special Concern

Habitat Description

Sandy or gravelly beaches periodically scoured by storm tides, resulting in sparse or no vegetation. Forages in shallow-water habitats, including bays, lagoons, estuaries, river and creek mouths, tidal marshes and ponds.

Threats to Survival

Human development on nesting habitats, loss of adequate separation between people on the beaches and the nesting colonies, off-road vehicles and garbage left on the beach.

Actions Recommended to Ensure Survival

Intensive and ongoing management will always be necessary to maintain a sustainable breeding population. Limiting human development is also critical to their survival.