Beach users should look-out threatened bird

Beach users are being asked to take extra precautions when they visit beaches between South Ballina and Evans Head this October long weekend.

No, it is not just sharks you have to look out for, it is the Pied Oystercatchers you have to be wary of.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Pest Management Officer, Lisa Wellman, said that the threatened Pied Oystercatchers have now started breeding and nesting.

"You can help Pied Oystercatchers and other shorebirds by keeping a wide berth from them when using the beach," Ms Wellman said.

"It is also important that beach users comply with the temporary signs indicating shorebird nesting areas," she said.

"The stop/go signage restricts beach users from stopping in areas surrounding nesting pairs of Pied Oystercatchers.

"These temporary signs are placed on the beach, 150 metres either side of nests, asking beach users to remain clear of these areas.

"Nesting birds are easily disturbed, leading to eggs being cooked in the sun or eaten by predators.

"Four-wheel-drive vehicles should time their trips to the beach to ensure they only drive at low tide to avoid driving above the high tide mark where Pied Oystercatchers nest.'

"Fox baiting to protect the shorebirds has started and will continue until December 2015', Ms Wellman said.

"The program has been successful in increasing Pied Oystercatcher fledgling numbers, one of the most significant populations of bird in the area.

"Domestic dogs need to be kept under control and only exercised in the designated dog exercise areas. "Pets are not permitted in any national park or nature reserve area."

'We want to achieve the best success rate yet for the survival of the chicks,' Ms Wellman said.

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