Sur­vey data re­sults add to draft plan

Pilbara News - - News - Ali­cia Per­era

An Ex­mouth bio­di­ver­sity hotspot has pro­vided im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion for re­searchers sur­vey­ing rare and en­dan­gered mi­gra­tory bird species.

As part of a draft man­age­ment plan be­ing de­vel­oped for con­serv­ing the habi­tat of the Ex­mouth Gulf Is­lands and Cape Pre­ston, a team from the Depart­ment of Bio­di­ver­sity, Con­ser­va­tion and At­trac­tions, Birdlife Aus­tralia and vol­un­teers this month con­ducted a sur­vey of mi­gra­tory birds.

DBCA Pil­bara re­gional man­ager Arvid Hogstrom said the sur­veys had pro­duced a lot of useful data on the species and habits of the is­lands’ mi­gra­tory birdlife.

“Vul­ner­a­ble species such as the east­ern curlew and bar-tailed god­wit are wary and sen­si­tive to dis­tur­bance,” he said.

“Both of those species are also listed as crit­i­cally en­dan­gered un­der the Fed­eral En­vi­ron­ment Pro­tec­tion and Bio­di­ver­sity Con­ser­va­tion Act 1999, so it was ex­cit­ing to find them on the is­land.”

On the trip, re­searchers sighted a red-necked stint with a flag band, show­ing the bird had trav­elled from Broome to Ex­mouth and had likely just ar­rived from breed­ing grounds about 10,000km away.

They also recorded a small flock of pro­tected species the east­ern curlew and a 600-strong flock of roseate terns, a type of seabird.

Mi­gra­tory birds are gen­er­ally dif­fi­cult to track be­cause they mainly stay on iso­lated coastal ar­eas such as is­lands other than to fly vast dis­tances for a short breed­ing sea­son.

The DBCA man­age­ment plan for pro­tect­ing the Ex­mouth Gulf is­lands is still in its draft stages but is likely to in­clude de­vel­op­ing des­ig­nated camp­sites on is­lands, en­cour­ag­ing vis­i­tors to camp on boats and away from pro­tected sites, and pro­vid­ing com­mu­nity ed­u­ca­tion about con­ser­va­tion val­ues and threats.

The Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice’s Ex­mouth of­fice is also ask­ing recre­ational fish­ers to re­port sight­ings of tagged fairy terns on Pil­bara is­lands by phon­ing 9947 8000.

This red-necked stint is likely to have trav­elled from 10,000km away.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.