Mendenhall Glacier Terns Nesting Area was Disturbed

    Juneau, AK (KINY) - A group of arctic terns were disturbed recently at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

    A group of arctic terns were disturbed recently at the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center. 

    Laurie Lamm, a Natural Resources Specialist at the Visitor Center, told us about what they had found. 

    “We have an arctic tern colony that nests annually out at just off of Photo Point in that low sand area. Of course every year we're kind of watching the terns. As they come in we get excited to see the possibility of terns nesting and hopefully hatching out some young.”

    “One day it was noticed that ‘Hey, where have all the terns gone?’ We were chatting with each other and discovered that people hadn’t seen the terns for a couple of days. So one of our biological technicians walked out to look at the tern area and discovered human footprints and canine footprints along with crushed tern egg shells.”

    We asked on how people can be more conscious of the terns to further protect them. 

    “An easy thing, of course, for places like the tern nesting area is to stay clear of the closed zones. The tern areas are marked with ropes and signs saying that it is a closed zone and that  arctic terns nest in that area. Stay out of the nesting zone, that is one good way to protect the terns.”

    Luckily this event has not driven out all of the terns in the area. 

    “We're starting to see a few of them fly back over the nesting areas, so if you come out and maybe walk out to to Photo Point, look out over the nesting area and you might have an opportunity to see you just a few of them flying around.”

    She said that she doubts than there will be nesting this year. 

    “I don’t know if nesting will be successful this year with this late of a start or not. We hope to be able to have terns continue to nest out there and successfully in the future.”

    The investigation is ongoing, as law enforcement are involved. 

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