No fairy tale

• Fairy terns will be protected by fencing and shelters at Point Walter spit this spring and summer. Photo

NESTING fairy terns have made the end of the popular Point Walter spit a no-go zone this spring and summer.

Melville council and the state parks and wildlife department have erected temporary fencing to keep people away from the vulnerable terns, which create nests in a shallow scrape above the high-water mark.

Signage will also be installed in the water to warn boaties to keep their distance, while shelters will be used to try and keep the chicks safe from extreme weather and predators.

Parks officer Ben Ansell said about 70 pairs of fairy terns were expected to nest on the spit this season.

Melville council’s acting CEO Marten Tieleman asked drone users and dog walkers to also keep their distance.

Fairy terns live along the coasts of most southern Australian states, and while WA’s population of about 1600 breeding pairs is considered fairly stable, in Victoria there are estimated to be as few as 120-150 pairs.

In NSW there are thought to be just 70 individual terns.

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