Last year, the South East Regional Shorebirds Alliance, led by NRM South, ran a Crowd Funding Campaign – Tassie Shorebirds Rescue. Some of the money raised has been used to develop an Education Kit for Beach-nesting Birds, which is now available free to download. The kit provides details of twelve awareness raising activities which are fun and aligned to educational curriculum from Years 1 to 6.
Data collected over many years by BirdLife Tasmania volunteers reveal an alarming trend:Tasmania’s beach nesting bird numbers are decreasing rapidly. For a handful of Australia’s beach-nesting shorebird species, Tasmania is the final refuge in the fight against extinction. Home to a staggering 50% of the global population of Hooded Plovers, Pied Oystercatchers and Sooty Oystercatchers alone, Tasmania’s beaches are on the front line of the battle for shorebird conservation.
Beach nesting shorebird eggs are laid right on the sand, camouflaged near the back of the beach or beside dunes. In addition, they are breeding on beaches during the peak tourist season – when beach visitor numbers multiply. Our shorebirds have experienced an alarming decrease in numbers in recent years,With barely-visible nests that can be easily overlooked, breeding birds are frequently disturbed by people or animals, and more often than not, the chicks don’t survive. Every time they are disturbed by a curious dog sniffing through the dunes, a careless step trampling on one of their eggs, or a 4WD crushing their entire nest, it represents a huge loss of effort – and in many cases can mean a lost breeding season!
Since 2013, the South East Regional Shorebirds Alliance (SERSA) have been educating the community, locals and visitors about the crisis facing our beach nesting birds. Funded through NRM South, SERSA works with schools, community groups, visitors, locals and interest groups to promote the message that beach users stick to wet sand, keep dogs on a leash, and to keep a respectful distance from shorebirds
- NRM South through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program
- BirdLife Tasmania
- Parks and Wildlife Service
- Glamorgan Spring Bay Council
- Tasman Council
- Sorell Council
- Clarence Council
- Kingborough Council
- Huon Valley Council
- Landcare Tasmania
Please note, care should always be taken when using binoculars and children should be supervised to ensure they do not look directly at the sun.