Northern Rivers shorebirds will be under the spotlight as National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) rangers and volunteers take to the beaches and estuaries as part of a statewide survey.

NPWS Pest Management Officer, Lisa Wellman, said that the survey is being undertaken from until December 16 as part of the Fox Threat Abatement Plan and will provide important data on shorebird numbers and movements to assist with management.

“The survey targets three key threatened species – the pied oystercatcher, beach stone-curlew and little terns – in order to get a snapshot of their abundance,” Ms Wellman said.

“The region is an important habitat for shorebirds and there are many challenges for conservation in managing an area of high population growth like this.

“This is the second year the survey has been undertaken. Last year’s survey found that the Northern Rivers region had about one third of the state’s pied oystercatchers (102) and about half of the beach stone-curlews (9). Little terns were in comparatively small numbers, with only 27 adults found in the region, out of about 1400 across the state.’

“The survey will target beaches and the estuaries of the Clarence, Evans, Brunswick and Tweed Rivers.

“Visitors to the coastal areas may well see NPWS rangers, Marine Park staff and volunteers including the Byron Bird Buddies out and about in boats and on foot with binoculars.

“We are looking forward to seeing how shorebirds are faring in the region, 12 months on.”