What Taking Care of Terns Tells Us
Each summer, on a small island just off New Hampshire's coast, researchers from the Shoals Marine Laboratory work to save and protect threatened and endangered seabirds called terns. Terns experience more of the globe in their lifetimes than most other species — traveling close to 60,000 miles in a year. But each summer, they return to White Island, the largest tern colony in the Gulf of Maine and the only place in New Hampshire that they breed. Working with the birds is helping the researchers both protect the species and understand more about the health of fisheries in the Gulf of Maine, especially the commercially important herring, a key baitfish for another very important commercial species: lobster.