(Pacific) Elegant Terns breeding in Spain

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Michael Szabo
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(Pacific) Elegant Terns breeding in Spain

Postby Michael Szabo » Sun Aug 18, 2019 2:19 pm

"Elegant Tern breeds on the Pacific coasts of the southern United States and Mexico and winters south to Peru, Ecuador and Chile. This species has also bred in eastern Spain since 2009, with pure pairs nesting during successive breeding seasons up to 2018, rearing seven juveniles at the coastal stretch of l'Albufera de Valencia. This year, 2019, the presence of five adult Elegant Terns – three females and two males – resulted in the formation of two nesting pairs in the same season for the first time. ... One of the hypotheses explaining the presence of Elegant Tern in Europe relies on recent dramatic population fluctuations, as well as large-scale migrations to new breeding areas, caused by declines in their food resources (eg fish stocks) linked to overfishing, El Niño events and sea surface temperature anomalies in both nesting and wintering waters on the Pacific seaboard. Whatever the case, those Elegant Terns trying to thrive in eastern Spain are facing similar threats here to those that probably led them to cross the Atlantic in the first place."

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