Protection of Hancock County's Least Terns
Dear Hancock County voter,
Last year, the first recorded colony of least terns nested in Hancock County, Mississippi. Local bird-lovers were very excited. 70+ terns built 36 nests.
But these birds, which nest directly on the beach, are in decline across their range. Least Terns are very susceptible to threats like animal predators, kite flying, fireworks and human disturbance.
None of the hatching chicks in 2016 survived to adulthood. The colony was deemed a "failure" by Audubon Mississippi.
The main problem? Audubon wasn’t able to secure permission soon enough from the Hancock
County Supervisors, permission that would enable them to rope off the nesting area and post signage (at no cost to taxpayers) to make people aware of the colony.
This year, Audubon Mississippi is working with a group of local volunteers, concerned constituents, and businesses to protect the Hancock Terns. But they can't do it alone - they need permissions and support of the Hancock County Supervisors.
encourage the supervisors to support Audubon's protection of the colony. It's the right thing for our environment, but makes great economic sense too: the seasonal tern colony gives the county a new visitor attraction at no cost, one that could provide a welcome boost to our Hancock County businesses.