The San Diego Audubon Society has begun to recruit volunteers to help with maintaining various least tern and possible least tern nesting sites around the San Diego coastline. Previously this year, volunteers have helped with pulling weeds at Mariner’s Point and an FAA field at North Island.
Volunteers have mostly been pulling invasive weeds such as filaree, which can take over and obliterate nesting sites and grow large enough to conceal predators. Filaree has taken advantage of the disturbance of the sandy soil around Mission Bay by human activities in the creation and dredging of Mission Bay. By removing these plants and surrounding the area with a low fence to keep chicks from wandering, it is hoped that some of the endangered tern’s former nesting grounds can still be usable.
There are three species of least terns in North America, two of which are endangered: the California and Interior least tern. It is generally believed that the California least tern spends the winter somewhere around the west coast of Mexico, though their exact location has never been determined. They begin to arrive back in the San Diego area around late April and begin to nest soon after they arrive at the nesting areas.
The next event needing volunteers will be at the north end of Fiesta Island on January 27th, 2013 from 9 a.m. to Noon. Volunteers should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes and bring their own gloves and water bottles if they have them. Contact San Diego Audubon’s Conservation Program Manager Rebecca Schwartz for more detail at: email@example.com for more details and to RSVP.
Future dates for volunteering are: February 2nd, February 16th, February 23rd, March 9th, March 23rd and March 30th.