Volunteers needed across Yorke Peninsula for shorebird survey

News article |

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke is recruiting volunteers for the Hooded Plover Biennial Count on Yorke Peninsula next month.

The count, coordinated nationally by BirdLife Australia, takes place every two years in mid-November and mobilises hundreds of volunteers to simultaneously survey thousands of kilometres of coastline in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia to record numbers of the small threatened coastal bird.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscapes Ranger Janet Moore says the next survey will take place between the 10th and 25th of November, with volunteers still needed at a number of coastal towns, as well as remote stretches of the Yorke Peninsula coastline.

"The surveys are an important way to gauge bird numbers across Yorke Peninsula, and November is an ideal time for counting them," Ms Moore said.

"Most hooded plovers breed in November; they are less mobile when they are breeding and stay around the same area of beach, which lessens the chance of counting the same bird twice, allowing us to effectively census the population.

"The survey is a great way to participate in helping one of Yorke Peninsula’s most iconic threatened species, particularly if people are unable to commit to anything more regular or involved.

"People may like to survey their local beach or put their hand up to travel further afield and count a more remote section of our stunning coastline."

Ms Moore said that taking part in the surveys requires little training. Volunteers must complete a short, online induction before walking a designated stretch of coastline and recording hooded plover sightings and any visible threats that may impact their breeding success, such as ravens and foxes, on supplied data sheets.

"All volunteers need is a good level of fitness, a keen eye and basic record-keeping skills," Ms Moore said.

Coral Johnson of Wallaroo has taken part in the last three biennial counts on Yorke Peninsula.

"I have participated in the last three counts because it is a great opportunity to go for a walk on a beach that I haven't previously seen or been to," Ms Johnson said.

"I also get to participate in one of my favourite hobbies, birdwatching, whilst contributing to an important conservation initiative.

"The thing I enjoy the most is when I find the hooded plovers along my walk. They are such an attractive bird and knowing you are witnessing and recording a species which is vulnerable in the wild is a special feeling. Occasionally you find one that has been previously tagged and you get to find out some of its history."

If you are interested in taking part in the surveys or would like further information, please contact Janet Moore of Natural Resources Northern and Yorke on 0447 418 391 or janet.moore@sa.gov.au.

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