Join community of citizen scientists on YP beaches

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke together with researchers from BirdLife Australia are putting out the call for citizen scientists to join their beach-nesting bird monitoring program over the coming summer months on Yorke Peninsula.

The project provides an opportunity for people with little to no scientific background to make a positive contribution towards the conservation of the four beach-nesting bird species on Yorke Peninsula, the Hooded Plover, Red-capped Plover, Sooty Oystercatcher and Pied Oystercatcher.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Community Ranger Janet Moore said the project involves participants visiting a specific pair of beach-nesting birds during the breeding season to detect nesting, locate nests and follow the progress of nesting attempts, including monitoring chicks and threats.

"Our citizen scientists collect data about the birds, their nesting successes and failures, and the threats at breeding sites, to help build an accurate record of what is occurring during the breeding season across the peninsula.

"We are hoping to get data from a number of coastal townships and more remote beaches as well; participants will receive on-site training, as well as regular support throughout the season.

"The information gathered by our citizen scientists will directly influence our conservation actions and allow us to evaluate our success at protecting these birds," Ms Moore said.

Ms Moore said that beach-nesting bird numbers have been declining as they struggle to find undisturbed spaces on the beach to breed, so they are in desperate need of a helping hand.

"Joining this project will give participants a wonderful opportunity to get to know their local birds and they will be rewarded by rare sightings of chicks or special behaviours," Ms Moore said.

The monitoring of beach-nesting birds is delivered by the Naturally Yorke initiative through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

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

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