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Protecting the coastal habitat at Bay of Shoals

News release
12 September 2016

The fragile coastline between North Cape Road and the northern shore of the Bay of Shoals Sanctuary Zone provides important habitat for birdlife, particularly wader species like the Australian pied oystercatcher and the red-capped plover.

The coastal native vegetation on Crown lands adjacent to the sanctuary zone has undergone rehabilitation work to fix the impact vehicles have had on the fragile area.

Natural Resources Kangaroo Island District Manager Drew Laslett said the increasing number of locals, visiting campers and their vehicles had damaged some of the coastal environment, in turn displacing beach-nesting shorebirds.

“Oystercatchers tend to nest along the high-tide mark while plovers nest in shallow depressions along the high-tide mark or beneath low shrubs,” said Mr Laslett.

“We are seeing an increase in erosion along the coastal vegetation areas and if protective measures are not put in place the remaining native vegetation will start to die off as the erosion creeps inland.

Natural Resources Kangaroo Island, in collaboration with the Coast Protection Board, Kangaroo Island Eco Action and the Kangaroo Island Council, has taken steps towards protecting this outstanding coastline by funding a rehabilitation project.

Mr Laslett said the project included the closure of some vehicle access tracks in fragile areas and reduced vehicle access to beach areas.

"Wooden poles with ‘no vehicle’ pictograms will be placed in front of rock barriers to protect the most vulnerable areas,” he said.

“Access to most of the existing camping and day visitor areas will remain open to all.

“The closed vehicle tracks have undergone rehabilitation with scarification, which breaks up the compacted wheel tracks, promoting growth of the native seed that lies in the soil.”

If you haven’t already, why not visit the Bay of Shoals coast and enjoy the pristine habitat; camp or enjoy a walk along the beach and count how many shorebirds call this beautiful area their home.

To find out more, contact the natural resources centre in Kingscote or call 8553 4444.

More information

Communications and media officer

08 8553 4444