Time To Look Out For Shorebirds

You may have already seen this Council message, but in case you haven’t we’d like to share it with you.

Help protect our threatened shorebirds

Around half the population of NSW’s Hooded Dotterels exist in the Shoalhaven, making the region a crucial breeding ground for this critically endangered shorebird.  

Last season’s breeding data has shone a spotlight on our threatened shorebirds, prompting an appeal to locals and visitors to continue helping to protect shorebirds as the breeding season runs August to March. 

Jodie Parnell, Acting Ranger Services Lead, said Council was working closely with National Parks and Wildlife Service to patrol shorebird nesting areas and provide education to the community. 

“Many of our shorebirds are threatened and their survival relies on our beaches for a safe nesting habitat,” said Ms Parnell. 
“Shorebirds build their nests right on the sand and their eggs are very well camouflaged, making them hard to spot,” she said. 
Ms Parnell said there are simple things that beach goers, and particularly dog owners, can do to look after our shorebirds. 

  • Look out for nesting signs and stay away from roped-off nesting areas. 
  • Stick to the wet sand and give the birds plenty of space. 
  • Be mindful about taking your dog to the beach – always keep them on a leash, unless you’re on a designated off-leash beach. 
  • Keep your dog away from soft sand dune areas. 

South Coast Shorebird Recovery Program Volunteers monitor and protect shorebird breeding habitats from August until March each year. Last season’s counts of nests and fledglings for the Shoalhaven were the best numbers recorded for many years: 

“Since the Shoalhaven coastline provides complementary breeding, foraging and sheltering habitat for threatened shorebirds, we are all urged to continue our efforts to avoid these species from becoming extinct,” Ms Parnell said.  

This data shows that the measures being taken, along with the cooperation of residents and visitors, can make a difference. People are encouraged to continue help protect our region’s precious shorebirds.  

One of the threatened species, the Little Tern, migrates from eastern Asia in spring and summer to nest. The species is covered by international agreements for the protection of migratory birds – the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA), the China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA) and the Republic of Korea-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (ROKAMBA). 

Beachgoers are reminded to check Council’s website for information on off-leash and prohibited areas. For more information on shorebirds, visit the National Parks and Wildlife Service webpage. 

Kind Regards,
Committee HWCV
Date: 1/10/2023

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