Saltmarsh Threat Abatement and Recovery Project (STAR Project)
Lying along Eyre Peninsula’s 3,292km coastline are areas of Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh under increasing threat of degradation. These saltmarshes are listed as a nationally Threatened Ecological Community.
This project, supported by the Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, is focusing on land care actions to help protect and improve these threatened saltmarsh communities along with the threatened Hooded Plover. We are doing this through activities such as monitoring, revegetation, weed management, improving hydrological flows and removing marine debris.
Eyre Peninsula beaches are home to:
- 23% of the national distribution of saltmarshes
- 18% of the national Hooded Plover population
- One-third of SA’s intertidal samphire habitats.
Coastal saltmarshes are a vital part of the Eyre Peninsula’s ecology. They protect our shorelines, act as blue-carbon sinks, and are important fish nurseries and bird habitat.
Monitoring the Hooded Plover
Hooded Plovers are one of Australia’s top 20 threatened fauna species. These birds live on our beautiful beaches but are at risk from a range of threats.
Eyre Peninsula Landscape Board staff are working with BirdLife volunteers to monitor key nesting territories along our coast. Hooded Plovers nest on our beaches between August and April, laying their eggs in a shallow scrape on the upper beach above the high tide mark. This leaves them susceptible to a variety of disturbances, including off-leash dogs, vehicles driving on the beach, introduced predators, such as cats and foxes and native predators such as gulls and ravens. Monitoring is helping to prioritise targeted intervention work to help improve this species survival along our coast.
We also undertake winter inland surveys to find out more about their behaviour during non-breeding season.
We encourage you to get involved in this project.
If you join our group of volunteers, you’ll grow your knowledge of the important saltmarshes of Eyre Peninsula and help to prevent the processes that threaten these amazing landscapes.
While COVID restrictions have impacted on our ability to run regular events, people can still get involved by volunteering for monitoring and other activities. Contact your closest EP Landscape Board office to talk about the opportunities available.
You can also check our events page for any upcoming activities that might interest you.
The STAR Project deliverables align with the:
- Eyre Peninsula Regional Natural Resources Management Plan 2017-27
- Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
- Approved Conservation Advice for Subtropical and Temperate Saltmarsh
- SA Recovery Plan for Hooded Plover
- Australian Government Threatened Species Strategy
- Approved Conservation Advice for Thinornis rubricollis rubricollis - hooded plover (eastern)
- Migratory Shorebirds Conservation Action Plan 2017
- Eyre Peninsula Coastal Action Plan.
Saltmarsh expert Peri Coleman from Delta Environmental Consulting presents an engaging series of talks aimed at community decision makers, coastal ambassadors, teachers, bird groups and interested public.
- Blue carbon in our saltmarshes (8.09mins)
- Saltmarshes and saline wetlands:Learning about them, caring about them (19.44mins)
- Saltmarsh restoration:What have we learnt? (34.19mins)
- Connections: Saltmarshes joining the land and the sea (11.37mins)
- Tipping point for saltmarshes: Scramble for the high ground (22.54mins)
- 'Samphires of the Eyre Peninsula' downloadable guide (3.94MB)
- Article on the Good Living blog: Unpacked: Blue carbon and how it benefits South Australia
- Report: Eyre Peninsula distributions of some under collected samphires
- YouTube clip from BirdLife Australia: Beach-nesting birds project
- A report on blue carbon storage in eastern Eyre Peninsula coastal wetlands (June 2021)
- Eyre Peninsula Saltmarsh Retreat Assessment Report, prepared by University of Adelaide student Sophie Russell to identify areas on the EP where it could be possible for existing coastal saltmarsh systems to retreat further inland in response to rising sea levels. (Nov 2019)
Read our latest regional report (scroll to the end section of the page) which includes an overview of our STAR project activities during the past quarter. You can also subscribe to our quarterly newsletter which provides updates on all our projects.
Senior Officer – West
PO Box 333, Streaky Bay, South Australia 5680