Ballina birdwatcher June Harris attended a weekend workshop with BirdLife Australia.
Ballina birdwatcher June Harris attended a weekend workshop with BirdLife Australia. Richard Jordan

Birds of a feather gather to preserve threatened species

A MEETING of Northern Rivers naturalists concerned about preserving threatened wildlife species saw these birds of feather swap ideas, scientific methods and measures on the weekend.

Richard Jordan the convenor of BirdLife's Northern NSW branch said 46 volunteer naturalists from all over northern NSW, attended a weekend workshop in Urunga under the sponsorship of BirdLife Australia.

Mr Jordan who organised the event said the group was fortunate to have experts from Cairns to Sydney, Moree and Dubbo, at the event which discussed 15 sites in northern NSW which have been designated Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs).

"BirdLife Australia is in the process of appointing a guardian for each site,” he said.

"The job of the Guardian is to report annually on threats to their KBA.”

Mr Jordan said the workshop aimed to train Guardians in their reporting role.

He said it was also to educate surveyors in using the best scientific survey methods to keep tabs on the health of the bird populations, especially those threatened with extinction

"We also need is to conduct regular surveys, especially of birds, to determine just what are the conservation needs of these special areas,” he said.

"Saturday was spent in the classroom and on Sunday everyone went on a trip into the field to put what they had learned into practice.”

Mr Jordan said the group was pleased to have the Mayor of Bellingen Shire, Cr Dominic King, open the event, and Ranger Martin Smith from National Parks and Wildlife (Coffs Harbour) gave the keynote address.”

June Harris, a keen birder of more than 30 years standing, attended the event and said the sessions were extremely valuable.

"It was a very effective and informative workshop,” she said.

"On the field day we went out to learn to complete the different types of data surveys.”

The KBA program is the successor and extension of BirdLife Australia's Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBAs).

They are designed to expand the IBA success story to include all biodiversity, thereby strengthening the level of advocacy for protected areas.

A Global Standard for the Identification of KBAs was launched by BirdLife International and 10 other leading conservation NGOs in September 2016.

Critically, the KBA Standard provides consistency between areas across the globe, to assist governments meeting their conservation obligations under various international treaties.

More information contact Richard Jordan on 0428385677

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