Terns are iconic birds of shores and the sea throughout the world’s oceans. Bonaire has traditionally been a critical island for Caribbean nesting populations of several tern species, but nesting numbers have plummeted in recent decades due to human disturbance, invasive predators and habitat loss. Terns typically nest in large colonies on or close to the ground. Consequently, they are easy prey to ground-dwelling predators (like rats, cats and dogs) and human disturbance. Terns are protected by international legislation.
On Bonaire, tern breeding is most succesfull on islands where cats cannot reach the nests.