MEDIA RELEASE: PROTECT BIRDS BREEDING ON OUR BEACHES
Posted on the 16th December 2019
The African Black Oystercatcher (Swarttobie) and White-fronted Plover (Vaalstrandkiewiet) are the two beach breeding birds that occur along the Overstrand coastline. The future of both of these species is under threat and they are hugely sought-after in the birding tourism market. These birds are very vulnerable when nesting on the ground because beach visitors and dogs that approach too close can drive them off their nests. The eggs can then overheat in the sun or are in danger of being eaten or destroyed by dogs and other predators. The same applies to chicks once hatched. Illegal vehicles on beaches further disrupt breeding birds and may even drive over nests.
One of the projects of BirdLife Overberg’s CleanMarine campaign is aimed at educating beach goers to stay clear of such nests. This project is done in collaboration with the Nature’s Valley Trust and the Overstrand municipality. Nest warning signs are being set up thirty metres from identified nesting sites to encourage people not to approach any closer. Researchers at the Nature’s Valley Trust have found that the birds will leave their nests when approached within thirty metres.
Please give these birds space while they are trying to breed or raise chicks on our beaches, dunes and shores. If you notice adult birds making a huge noise, they probably have a nest or chicks nearby, so tread very carefully and move away quickly. Please don't remove eggs or chicks even if they seem abandoned, because the parents will certainly be nearby anxiously waiting for you to leave. Your dogs are also a huge threat, so please keep them leached on all beaches. Let’s all do our bit to protect these birds that are very vulnerable at this time of year. Report all breeding attempts to Anton Odendal at firstname.lastname@example.org or 082 550 3347.
Please report all injured or oiled coastal birds and animals to the Cape Whale Coast stranding network at 072 598 7117 immediately. This dedicated service is provided by the African Penguin and Seabirds Sanctuary (APSS) of the Dyer Island Conservation Trust in Kleinbaai.
Further information can be obtained from:
Dr. Anton Odendal
(c): +27 82 550 3347