What can I do to help protect Fairy Terns?

    Some of the simple things you can do to help protect Fairy Terns include:

    Keep an eye out for visiting Fairy Terns
    If you live nearby or regularly visit a nesting site, you will likely be one of the first people to see the birds if they begin to visit. Please help us to protect this threatened species by logging any Fairy Tern sightings on the map at the bottom of this page. This provides us with valuable information about the birds, and will also help help to quickly address any issues.

    Keep Your Distance
    When visiting any nesting site, please remember to keep your distance and stay at least 20 metres away at all times. Fairy Terns are easily unsettled and any disturbance may cause them to feel too unsafe to nest.

    You can help the birds to settle comfortably and safely into their chosen nesting site by keeping at least 20m away from the sanctuary site when Fairy Terns are present. This will also ensure you don’t accidentally step on any nests, which are often difficult to spot as they are no more than a small scrape in the sand. If they are already nesting, getting too close may cause the birds to abandon their eggs or chicks. This could have devastating impacts on the survival of this species.

    Take a (short) detour when walking your dog
    Fairy Terns are particularly flighty around dogs, and the scare of a dog walking nearby can cause them to abandon their nests, which leaves their eggs and chicks open to a number of predators. If Fairy Terns do choose to nest at a site near you, you can minimise stress to the birds by continuing to keep dogs away from the nesting area and adjusting dog-walking routes to detour at least 20m away. This is as simple as crossing to the other side of the road.

    Keep your cat inside during nesting season
    One cat can have a devastating impact on an entire Fairy Tern colony. Please help us avoid this by transitioning outdoor cats to an indoor environment during Fairy Tern nesting season. Cat management, including trapping, will be undertaken in and around the nesting sites on an ‘as required’ basis from September-February.

    When is Fairy Tern nesting season?

    Fairy Tern nesting season runs from September-February. From September, the birds can be seen scouting potential nesting sites in the area before they eventually select their mates and lay their eggs in shallow scrapes in the sand.

    How is the City managing cats at the Mandurah Fairy Tern Sanctuary?

    The City’s Cat Local Law 2019 came into force on 29 January 2020. A key objective of this law is to protect the biodiversity of specific reserves within the district by declaring them cat prohibited areas. The Cat Local Law also provides for:

    • Cat control measures to ensure that owners of cats do not allow their pets to be or create a nuisance;
    • Permits and conditions for the keeping of more than 2 cats; and 
    • Penalties for prescribed offences.

    The local law provides for owners of cats found to be in prohibited areas to be infringed ($200) or prosecuted.

    Under the local law four reserves in the district are now cat prohibited areas. They include:

    • Marlee Reserve, R41392, Lot 806 Mulga Dr Parklands; 
    • Fairy Tern Sanctuary, R47584 at Breakwater Parade Mandurah.
    • Dawesville Reserve R34226, 2-10 Dawesville Rd Dawesville
    • Warrangup Springs Reserve R860, bounded by Jinatong Loop and Estuary Rd Dawesville (western side of Estuary Rd only)

    Reserve 47584 at Breakwater Parade Mandurah, also known as the Mandurah Fairy Tern Sanctuary, has been declared cat prohibited to protect the nesting sites for Fairy Terns which are a threatened species.

    What if my cat is trapped?

    If your cat is trapped, it will be impounded and a photo published on the City’s website. If your cat is microchipped you will be contacted by Ranger Services.  

    Poundage applies as well as any other requirements for compliance with the Cat Act 2011 prior to release.

    The local law provides for owners of cats found to be in prohibited areas to be infringed ($200) or prosecuted. A cat control notice will also be issued to the owner requiring the cat to be contained for up to 28 days.

    How is the City managing rats at the sanctuary site?

    Rat baiting is being conducted at the Mandurah Fairy Tern Sanctuary from September 14 - October 5, 2020.

    The bait selected is Selontra Soft Bait. It will be installed in lockable, tamper-resistant bait stations to ensure dogs and cats cannot access the baits. 

    Selontra Soft Bait has a lower risk of secondary poisoning compared to other baits as it is not an anticoagulant and is metabolised quickly by rodents. The active ingredient in Selontra does not accumulate in the environment. More information on the product can be found at crop-solutions.basf.com.au/products/selontra-soft-bait#overview.

    During the baiting period, the site will be regularly checked for rodent activity and any affected rodents will be removed. Do not handle the bait stations or affected rodents.

    To ensure your pets remain safe while rat baiting is conducted at the Mandurah Fairy Tern Sanctuary keep them away from the bait stations at all times, keep cats inside during fairy tern nesting season and continue to keep dogs on a lead in the area.