Conservation

REPORT ON THE CLEANMARINE PROJECT 1: PROTECTING BREEDING SITES OF AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS AND WHITE-FRONTED PLOVERS ALONG OUR COASTLINE

Posted on the 24th August 2019

PROGRESS WITH THE BIRDLIFE OVERBERG CLEANMARINE CAMPAIGN ON THE CONSERVATION OF OUR COASTLINE AND ESTUARIES: REPORT FOR AUGUST 2019
BACKGROUND
This report needs to be read against the background of our initial project description at this link:
http://www.westerncapebirding.co.za/overberg/conservation/617/_birdlife_overberg_projects_aimed_at_protecting_our_coastline_and_estuaries

PROJECT 1: PROTECTING BREEDING SITES OF AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS AND WHITE-FRONTED PLOVERS ALONG OUR COASTLINE
The identification of key breeding spots of African Oystercatchers & White-fronted Plovers along Overstrand coastline went well during the previous two summers and we have a fair idea of key breeding sites along our coastline. It was decided to appoint “Oystercatcher Champions” before the next summer – these will be individuals at specific spots along our coast who will take responsibility for applying the educational campaigns at their home patches. Training on this should ideally be done shortly.
1.1 AFRICAN BLACK OYSTERCATCHERS RAISING CHICKS
Several members have taken photographs of breeding birds and adults rearing chicks. Progress was made with the collation of images to illustrate how the chicks develop until they fledge. Jenny Parson’s images of the breeding pair raising their chicks were well documented and disseminated through talks to bird clubs, the website and social media. The main feature of this was that it illustrated the extended period during which these nesting sites, as well the area where the chicks are reared need to be protected very well.
1.2 NEST WARNING SIGNS
Officials from the Environmental Division of the Overstrand Municipality agreed in principle to have their red nest warning placards signs eventually replaced to incorporate themes addressed in the placards developed by the Nature’s Valley Trust. Discussions in this regard are progressing well and these placards will be rolled out for the next summer. The development of these placards will be financed through funds received from a grant from BirdLife South Africa and an informal auction at BirdLife Overberg’s 2019 Xmas in July fundraising event. This effort will be supported by a variety of educational campaigns.

The Nature's Valley Trust placcard
The Overstrand municipality placcard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.3 LARGE BEACH BEHAVIOUR POSTERS
It was agreed in principle that these posters initially developed by the Nature’s Valley Trust will be adapted and erected at the Kleinbaai harbour, and the beaches at Grotto, Onrus, Hawston, Kleinmond, Betty’s Bay and Pringle Bay. Quotations for the development of these resources have been received and sponsors are being sought. These posters will be put in place for the summer of 2020/ 2021 due to a current lack of available funds.

The educational poster developed by the Nature's Valley Trust

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.4 THE PROPOSED ZONING OF DOGS ON BEACHES
Officials from the Environmental Division of the Overstrand Municipality agreed that a zoning system for dogs on beaches will have to be developed in time. This system has been implemented with great success at various sites along the South African coast such as Sedgefield, Plettenberg Bay and Nature’s Valley. The implementation of this system will however be dependent on the changing of by-laws and this matter is apparently being investigated by the municipality. The development of posters, educational and information campaigns and the like and the financing thereof will be undertaken once the by-laws have been changed. 

This is how beaches are zoned for dogs in other areas

 

Image illustrating the vulnerability of a plover nest site by Jenny Parsons of BirdLife Overberg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oystercatchers with chick - Jenny Parsons
Plover eggs - Photo credit NVT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Vulnerable plover chick - Jenny Parsons
Dr Mark Brown of the NVT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


1.5 GENERAL COMMENT
The development of the four projects mentioned will clearly be dependent on available funding and this issue is addressed at the end of this report and in other documentation and budgets. It will further have to be supported by extensive media campaigns and educational programmes. The BirdLife Overberg identification brochures on the common coastal birds of the Western Cape developed and printed through a grant from BirdLife South Africa will play a crucial role in this regard.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to several BirdLife Overberg members and other members of the public who had reported nest sites over the last two summers. Jenny Parsons deserves particular mention for her outstanding photographs documenting the chick rearing cycle of the pair of African Black Oystercatchers. These images were used extensively in a brilliant PowerPoint presentation, as well as for a set of flash cards used for educational projects reported on elsewhere. Theanette Staal, the manager of the African Penguin and Seabirds Sanctuary (APSS) at the Dyer Island Conservation Trust (DICT) also contributed to this process. We have been very fortunate in receiving a donation from the Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) division of BirdLife South Africa for this project. Dr Mark Brown of the NVT played a pivotal role in the development of resources to be used for this project and his groundbreaking research in this regard is acknowledged.

SOME COMMENTS RECEIVED ON THIS PROJECT
• Hi Anton, Ek het die koerant elektronies afgelaai en dit lyk pragtig ek hou daarvan dat hulle ook ons logo gebruik het. Wow what an effort – dit gaan baie goed afgaan! WELL DONE – Carin Malan on 12 April 2018 on Village News article.
• Hi Anton, Awesome stuff! You put the rest of us to shame! – Mark Brown, the Director of the Nature’s Valley Trust, on 17 April 2018.
• Dear Anton, Thanks for your message, and well done on all of the great progress you are making in the Overberg Coastal Conservation Project. It is fantastic to see and I hope that we can get some other bird clubs to follow suit! Kind regards – Dale Wright, Western Cape conservation manager at BirdLife South Africa, on 5 May 2018.
• Hi Anton, It is great to see the ground work you are doing to make the real differences in our IBAs. Well done. This type of work by clubs such as BLO adds depth to our collective conservation efforts. Thank you. - Daniel Marnewick, manager of the IBA division of BirdLife South Africa, on 16 May 2018 on the project.
• Hello Anton, This is great. Sorry that you left before we were going to ‘thank you’ for your incredible work. Regards. Brigid Crewe, the Chairperson of the Tygerberg Bird Club, on 20 June after the CleanMarine talk to Western Cape Birding Forum.
• Anton: thanks for working so hard environmentally. If all people were like you, global problems would be solved – John Fincham of the Cape Bird Club.
• Dear colleagues, Please see below for yet another example of the excellent support we receive from BirdLife Overberg. Regards – Mark Anderson on 16 April a letter to the board on our proposed collaborative work with Whale Coast Conservation  and DICT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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