On May 1 2017, NRM South launched of our first-ever crowdfunding campaign. This 30-day campaign aims to raise $60,000 for beach-nesting shorebird conservation activities over the 2017-18 summer period, with target species including Fairy Tern, Little Penguin, Pied Oystercatcher, Hooded Plover and Red-capped Plover.
Shorebirds across Australia are facing increasing pressures and Tasmania is considered to be the final refuge for many species that have suffered a rapid drop in their populations in recent years. Home to a staggering 50% of the global population of hooded plovers, pied oystercatchers and sooty oystercatchers alone, Tasmania’s beaches are on the frontline of the battle for shorebird conservation and there is critical work that needs to be done to ensure these precious species don’t disappear from our beaches forever.
BirdLife Tasmania researcher and shorebird expert Dr Eric Woehler, who has been gathering data on Tasmania’s shorebirds since the 1980s, said;
‘Tasmania plays a crucial role in the survival of many of our beach-nesting shorebirds. It’s imperative that we act now to boost our on-ground actions and monitoring to ensure their survival. If we lose these species from Tasmania, they’re gone from the world’.
Beach-nesting shorebirds live, feed and breed within a narrow strip of coastal habitat – which is also where a lot of human activity is concentrated, particularly over the summer months. From increased disturbance from the annual influx of visitors to beaches over the summer breeding season, to habitat loss and predation from dogs and cats, there are many reasons why Tasmania’s beach-nesting shorebirds have suffered such a sharp drop in numbers over recent years. The last year alone saw a 17% increase in visitors holidaying in Tasmania, and NRM South is getting the message out that we need to step up our conservation activities to follow suit if our shorebirds are going to have any chance of survival.
NRM South are raising these funds on behalf of the South East Regional Shorebirds Alliance (SERSA), a regional collaboration that has been operating since 2013. Funded by NRM South (through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme), SERSA works with schools, community groups, visitors, locals and interest groups to raise awareness about the crisis facing our beach nesting birds, and carries out on-ground conservation work including monitoring, temporary fencing and signage. SERSA members include NRM South, BirdLife Tasmania, Parks and Wildlife, Landcare Tasmania and a number of regional councils.
NRM South CEO Donald Coventry commented;
‘NRM South is entering into an exciting new phase in its business development model. By identifying key issues facing Tasmania’s natural environment and highlighting them as a focus for crowdfunding projects, we will be able to achieve a broader range of conservation targets. This is an essential step in being able to move our projects forward and develop comprehensive management strategies across a range of pressing issues over the coming years.’
NRM South has been fortunate to have the support of several local business for this campaign, with donations from perks being provided by Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, Roaring 40s Kayaking Tours, Inala Nature Tours, Huon Bush Retreats, Wild Island Tasmania and Life’s An Adventure
A series of illustrations was designed by local Tasmanian artist, Rachel Tribout.
7HOFM provided sponsorship via radio advertisements to promote the campaign.
On behalf of NRM South, we would like to thank to all of our sponsors, supporters and donors.