The California Least Tern
The endangered California least tern bird species occupies a protected nesting site adjacent to the Port of Los Angeles’ largest container terminal on Pier 400. This aerial fish-foraging bird, known as the “least" tern since it is the smallest of the tern species, travels from its wintering grounds in Mexico to Southern California from April through August to nest. It is protected by both the Federal and State Endangered Species Acts and has historically nested in the Los Angeles Harbor area. Through an agreement with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Port of Los Angeles maintains, monitors, and protects 15 acres of sand on Pier 400 for the nesting of these indigenous birds. Monitoring of the colony has been in place since 1973.