Bird sanc­tu­ary idea for Ocean Beach

Albany Extra - - News - Saskia Adysti

A pro­posal to de­velop an en­dan­gered shore birds sanc­tu­ary at Ocean Beach has been sub­mit­ted to the Den­mark Shire by bird en­thu­si­asts.

Den­mark Bird Group founder and con­vener, Brad Knee­bone said the pro­posal started af­ter the group no­ticed a big drop in the shore birds pop­u­la­tion around the Wil­son In­let area.

“Wil­son In­let is home to a sig­nif­i­cant amount of pro­tected and en­dan­gered wa­ter­birds, shore­birds and seabirds — to the ex­tent that it is recog­nised as a wet­land of in­ter­na­tional sig­nif­i­cance,” he said.

“But data from our reg­u­lar mon­i­tor­ing has shown in­creas­ing recre­ational pres­sure in this precinct threat­ens and dis­rupts many species’ abil­ity to feed and breed.

“Adding to these dis­tur­bances are dog ex­er­cis­ing ac­tiv­i­ties, which to­gether with a de­cline in pop­u­la­tions and breed­ing ac­tiv­ity has led to the need for greater lev­els of pro­tec­tion for birdlife in the area.”

The group has called for an es­tab­lished re­serve at Prawn Rock Chan­nel and the Wil­son In­let Bar Precinct at Ocean Beach.

The plan in­cludes re­views of en­try to the beach and sep­a­rat­ing birds and dogs in the area.

“The cur­rent ac­cess to the dog ex­er­cise area co­in­cides with the south­ern bound­ary of the pro­posed sanc­tu­ary which is too close to bird ac­tiv­ity,” he said.

Shire of Den­mark ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Bill Parker said the coun­cil has re­ceived the sanc­tu­ary pro­posal and is now pre­par­ing a plan to con­sider the re­quest.

“The Shire is cur­rently pre­par­ing a cor­po­rate busi­ness plan for coun­cil to con­sider and that will out­line the Shire’s key projects over the next four years,” he said.

“A re­view of dog ex­er­cise ar­eas will be con­sid­ered as part of this process.”

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