Blatant disregard for rare shorebirds

A LOCAL bird-watching enthusiast from the Wallaga Lake area was shocked by the blatant disregard for endangered shorebirds at a known nesting area at the mouth of the estuary on the weekend.

National Parks’ shorebird program rangers have now been informed of the incident, as well as another at Tura Beach where a local woman attempted to warn off tourists with dogs entering into a marked nesting area.

Ranger Robyn Kesby said reports from Wallaga were that the visitors had spent a couple of days on a sand island where endangered pied oystercatchers and critically endangered hooded plovers had or were preparing to nest.

“We generally only put up the extra signs and tape once we have confirmed the nests, but we will be putting tape up at Wallaga now that we have heard the birds have been put under stress,” she said.

There is also a colony of little terns that nest at Mogareeka at Tathra every November that typically come under threat.

There are thought to be about 400 breeding pairs of pied oystercatchers in NSW recently upgraded to endangered status, while there are only 50 of the critically endangered hooded plover individuals left.

Ms Kesby said National Parks relied on the observations of locals to inform of both nesting activity and any threats.

The Shorebird Recovery Program was also in need of more volunteers that are trained to watch and protect these birds, so check out www.southcoastshorebirds.com.au

Also anyone can report nests or threats to either the Narooma or Merimbula National Parks offices on 4476 2800 or 6495 5000.

Anyone who see birds being endangered can also call the National Parks after-hours number on 1300 361 967.

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