Fishing line claims bird's life
THE death of a juvenile beach stone curlew at Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve has halved the number of young these critically endangered shore birds will raise this year on the Northern Rivers.
It was found entangled in discarded fishing line.
It is a grim reminder to Lower Richmond residents who use Airforce and Broadwater beaches to be aware of the rare shore birds and their nests.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) ranger Lori Cameron found the crab-eaten remains with 17 metres of fishing line wrapped around its lower leg and mangroves on the bank of Marshall's Creek.
"This is a major setback as it was one of only four chicks produced in the Northern Rivers this season, and now only two survive," she said.
"The juvenile was eight and a half months old and due to leave the area to find its own patch.
"The adults pair-bond for life, raising one chick per year, feeding it soldier crabs and protecting it from predators."
Ms Cameron said NPWS officers put a lot of time and effort into erecting signage to inform the public about the beach stone curlews and asked people to keep their distance during breeding season
"Another major threat is predation by the European red fox, for which a NPWS control program was very successful," she said.
"Fishing line and other rubbish is having a devastating impact on our native and endangered animals.
"You can help our wildlife especially endangered species by collecting any discarded fishing line, even if it isn't yours, and disposing of it properly."