Species Champions: Common tern

This summer migrant visits the UK from April to September and can be found in coastal waters and on some rivers. Nests mainly in colonies on islands and, occasionally, at safe sites on shore. With over 800 pairs, the largest in the UK is at Leith Docks in Edinburgh, the EU’s smallest Special Protection Area. The UK breeding population is currently estimated at 10-12,000 pairs, with almost half of these in Scotland. Although globally considered to be of  “least concern” in conservation terms, in the UK the species holds ‘amber’ status due to local declines in numbers and range.

Action Needed

  1. Support Marine Protected Areas for key offshore feeding areas.
  2. Support measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.
  3. Support protection of colonies against rats and other predators.
  4. Support measures to manage sandeel fisheries sustainably.


Falling fish stocks, in particular declining sandeel population

Invasive non-native species, such as rats


MSP Species Champion

Ben Macpherson

Member for: Edinburgh Northern and Leith

Party: Scottish National Party

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