Welcome back to the Bay

Eastern Curlew
Eastern Curlew

The Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis), a critically endangered migratory shorebird, has begun its annual return to Botany Bay, gracing us with its presence once again. In August 2023, we recorded the sighting of 42 of these incredible birds during our monthly count with The Australasian Wader Studies Group (AWSG) which is a special interest group of BirdLife Australia.

We are committed to the protection of these remarkable creatures and we've recently collaborated with Sutherland Shire Council to fortify the safety of one of the Eastern Curlew's preferred roosting sites in Taren Point. Together, we installed a predator-proof fence, ensuring a secure sanctuary for these avian travellers.

Across the river, we've extended a helping hand to Bayside City Council, joining forces to devise comprehensive strategies aimed at safeguarding the shorebirds in essential feeding and roosting locales within the Local Government Area.

Furthermore, we've lent our support to Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA), who are seeking a Saving Native Species Grant (Priority Species) for the preservation of the Eastern Curlew. CVA's project seeks to minimize disturbances to the Eastern Curlew during their crucial feeding and resting periods through community engagement and education. Their mission also encompasses the removal of plastic litter from the birds' habitat and the diligent monitoring of these special creatures during low tide feeding sessions. We eagerly anticipate the opportunity to collaborate with CVA on this project should it receive the green light for implementation.

We invite you to join us in our efforts to ensure the well-being of these rare and incredible birds during their visit in our region. Here are some simple yet effective ways you can contribute to ensuring they thrive while here:

dog on leash

1. Leash Your Dog and Maintain Distance: If you're strolling with your furry companion near the water's edge, remember that keeping your dog on a leash is not just a suggestion but a necessity. This small act significantly reduces the risk of disturbing feeding birds. During the spring and summer months, exercise extra caution and keep your distance from shorebirds on the beach, as they are particularly sensitive to human and canine presence.

girl and woman picking up litter at the beach and putting it into a bin bag

2. Dispose of Rubbish Responsibly: Litter poses a significant threat to our avian friends. Always make use of bins for proper waste disposal, and if you spot litter, kindly pick it up, especially in areas frequented by these birds.

Eastern Curlews in Botany Bay
Eastern Curlews in Botany Bay

3. Support the Migratory Shorebird Program by Birdlife Australia: Birdlife Australia is at the forefront of shorebird conservation. You can aid their vital work by participating in bird count events, offering your time as a volunteer, or making donations to help protect our local birds. Birdlife Australia also provides an excellent shorebird identification booklet to help you recognise these birds.

To gain further insights into the fascinating migratory shorebirds within the Georges River catchment, explore the excellent resources compiled by the Sutherland Shire Environment Centre.

Let's work together to ensure that the Eastern Curlew and their fellow shorebirds continue to grace our shores for generations to come.

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