At a moment when psychology is starting to recognise a condition, a deep melancholia provoked by anxiety over climate collapse — Climate Grief — anything that looks like a victory, a recovery of lost ground for the natural world must be, irrespective of its scale, celebrated.
For the first time, Arctic terns have raised chicks on the island of Dalkey, south Co Dublin. Six chicks have taken flight and a seventh is expected to follow in the coming days.
Even if this seems a modest achievement it is a stepping stone towards remaking threatened populations.
It also underlines an awkward truth around population restoration — for one population to recover others must give way, in this case, the rats and gulls that made it all but impossible for Arctic terns to fledge.
However, human intervention reversed that spiral. There are many other settings in which that principle could justifiably be applied — one that has been so successful that BirdWatch Ireland hopes that the china-delicate roseate tern, one of Europe’s endangered seabirds, will in time also nest at Dalkey. Omelette, eggs, breaking etc...