End of line for endangered
THE death of a juvenile beach stone-curlew at Brunswick Heads, found entangled in discarded fishing line, has halved the number of young the critically endangered shore birds will raise this year on the New South Wales Northern Rivers.
Right: A beach stone-curlew – picture by Byron Bird Buddies.
Last Sunday (July 1), National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Ranger Lori Cameron found the crab-eaten remains with 17m of fishing line wrapped around its lower leg and mangroves on the bank of Marshalls Creek.
“This is a major set back as it was one of only four chicks produced in the Northern Rivers this season and now only two survive,” says Ms Cameron.
“The juvenile was eight and a half months old and due to leave the area to find its own patch.
“The beach stone-curlew (esacus neglectus) is a critically endangered species in NSW and with only 30 individuals remaining, each loss is highly significant.
“The adult pair bond for life, raising one chick per year, feeding it soldier crabs and protecting it from predators,” says Ms Cameron.
“The dead chick was the second raised by the resident pair at Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve.
“Last year’s chick bearing a yellow flag marked ‘A1’ has been photographed in Yeppoon (Queensland).
“Byron Bird Buddies (BBB) and other volunteers spent months in the reserve monitoring the birds and educating the public to help protect the breeding site.
“BBB also supplied several signs and paid for the chick to be banded and flagged ‘A3’.
“Now, due to something as simple as discarded fishing line, these efforts have been dealt a blow.
“Cape Byron Marine Park and NPWS officers put a lot of time and effort into erecting signage to inform the public about these special birds and ask people to keep their distance during the breeding season as disturbance is one of the biggest threats to this species.
“Another major threat is predation by the European red fox, for which a NPWS control program was very successful.
“Fishing line and other rubbish are 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,” Ms Cameron says.
Posted By: anonymous
Comments: It should be law that only biodegradable fishing line is allowed to be used by fishers. The amount of this stuff out there in the environment that is going to take hundreds off years to degrade is ridiculous -we should be using stories like this to prove that biodegradable line is the only way forward