Gladstone Ports Corporation gives Wings to Bundaberg Birdwatchers
Jul 22, 2015
Shorebirds and shorebird watchers will be the beneficiaries of a $5,500 grant made by the Gladstone Ports Corporation through their Community Investment Program.
The Program aims to make a real and positive contribution to the Gladstone, Rockhampton and Bundaberg regional communities in which the Port operates, and supports partnerships that align with their key priorities of social, environment and economic sustainability.
The funds will be split between maintaining an ongoing monthly monitoring program at the Port of Bundaberg and a Community Shorebird Identification Day that will be held later this year.
The project is a joint initiative of Birdlife Bundaberg and the Burnett Mary Regional Group for NRM (BMRG), who commenced monitoring at the Port of Bundaberg in 2008.
“Following a survey of shorebird roosts undertaken by Queensland Wader Study Group in conjunction with the BMRG in 2005-7, we became aware of a major shorebird roost at the Port of Bundaberg,” said Sue Sargent, Conservation Partnerships Manager.
The site, which is an artificial dredge spoil pond, supported almost as many birds as the entire aerial survey of the rest of the coast (from Tannum Sands to Point Vernon in Hervey Bay) which included both resident and migratory shorebirds as well as evidence of large numbers of breeding Black-winged Stilt.
“The site is an excellent example of where development can be conducted in an environmentally sustainable way – with the birds just modifying their activity when the site is being used for dredge spoil treatment. But the birds benefit from near perfect habitat and conditions that attract both a wide variety of species and numbers to the site.”
Nev Capell, President of Birdlife Bundaberg and a regular member of the Shorebird Monitoring Team added, “It’s great to work with the Port and this has been a community partnership that has now been in place for over 7 years.”
“We get to see some great birds, with large numbers of Sharp-tailed Sandpipers - they’re not usually found in coastal areas,” said Mr Capell.
“But the standouts will always be the rarities like the Buff-breasted Sandpiper that we found in 2009, which was the first record of the species in Queensland. The site also supports good numbers of Curlew Sandpipers that were recently listed as Critically Endangered by the Australian Government.”
“It’s great that we have the opportunity to watch these birds and share our knowledge with other volunteers and community members.”
Through the partnership, the group were also able to secure separate funding support to erect a shorebird monitoring platform at the site in 2014.
Shorebird monitoring takes place at the site monthly. To learn more or volunteering, please call Nev Capell on 0414 786 119.
More information about the BMRG’s shorebird initiatives can be found on their website at: http://www.bmrg.org.au/our-programs/biodiversity-conservation/shorebird-conservation-project/ or for more information, please call Sue Sargent on (07) 4181 2999.