Artificial shorebird roosting is one-step closer to becoming a reality for The Burnett Mary Regional Group after receiving $224,000 in funding from Gladstone Ports Corporation to get the program off to a flying start.
The habitat enhancement program follows a decade-long partnership between BMRG and GPC that has seen valuable data on shorebirds collected at the Port of Bundaberg.
Shorebirds will soon be able to rest closer to their foraging grounds on the artificial roosts which are made from floating, long-line oyster bags.
The program is expected to span over five-years and measure the increase of shorebird numbers in the region with camera technology and support from Birdlife Australia.
BMRG CEO Sheila Charlesworth said the partnerships with GPC and Gidarjil Development Corporation were integral to increasing Shorebird numbers in the region.
“Reduced availability of key habitats for shorebirds in our region is a key contributor to decline in their numbers and survival rate,” Ms Charlesworth said.
“BMRG appreciates the opportunity to help stem this decline by implementing an innovative solution in partnership with GPC and Gidarjil Development Corporation,” she said.
GPC’s Port of Bundaberg Manager, Jason Pascoe said the artificial roosting was a first for Bundaberg.
“We’re excited to be able to offer funding for such a pioneering project for the Bundaberg region,” Mr Pascoe said.
“Economic, environmental and social sustainability underpins everything we do at GPC,” he said.
“It’s humbling to know the funding will make a real difference to shorebirds in the Bundaberg region,”
“We’re proud to have been working with BMRG over the past 12 years and we are committed to continuing our partnership into the future.”
Gidarjil Development Corporation’s CEO Dr Kerry Blackman welcomed the project to the region.
“Gidarjil is pleased to be in partnership with BMRG and GPC to install the artificial shorebird roosts to provide a safe haven for our native shorebirds,” Dr Blackman said.
BirdLife Bundaberg’s Nev Capell said the program would leave a lasting legacy for the region.
“This is a big win for the shorebirds and a big win the people of our region,” Mr Capell said.