As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Bands help protect endangered birds

THE NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and Birdlife Australia have been placing leg bands with visible identification flags on critically endangered hooded plovers, and they ask the public to please report any sightings.

Hooded plovers are small, black-headed birds with white bellies, a white stripe across the backs of their necks, and pale brown backs and wings. 

They are seen on popular and remote beaches between Jervis Bay and the Victorian border and beyond.

NPWS shorebird recovery coordinator for the Far South Coast, Amy Harris, says understanding hooded plover movements is critical to their protection.

“We’re tracking hooded plovers because while 10 to 15 chicks usually fledge from this region each year, the resident population of breeding adults has not significantly increased from about 50 individuals,” Dr Harris said.

“If you see a banded hooded plover, please note the location and letter and number on its tag, and call the statewide NPWS number on 1300 361 967 or one of our local offices at Merimbula, Narooma or Ulladulla.”

Dr Harris said studies using leg bands and identification flags had improved understanding of other shorebirds in the region, and the public had responded enthusiastically in the past.

“Through banding and tracking projects along the coast the public helped us follow a little tern for 17 years and also taught us that pied oystercatchers travel hundreds of kilometres,” she said.

“We don’t know if the hooded plovers we see each year are the same individuals, or if they move around more than we think, but returning here to breed is a vital part of species recovery and we appreciate everyone’s help in tracking their movements.”

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