Residents and visitors to Elliott Heads are reminded that Dr May's Island is closed to the public to protect nesting and migratory shorebirds.
The enforced closure period runs between September 1 and April 30 and covers areas of the beach island.
The sand island, also known as Rock Island, is located at the mouth of the Elliott River and is used by migratory birds for nesting and roosting.
On the spot fines of $287 apply for those who are caught on the island.
Divisional representative Cr Tanya McLoughlin said signs had been placed in various points around the area to remind visitors of the closure.
She said it was important for beachgoers to follow the closure notice as it was put in place to protect the bird species.
“Each year more than one million shorebirds breed in Northern China, Mongolia, Siberia and Alaska during June and July, and then migrate to Australia,” she said.
“Some species fly more than 6,000 kilometres non-stop, losing 40% of their bodyweight.
“Dr Mays Island is one area the birds have chosen to rest and feed to build up their strength and it’s everyone’s responsibility to protect them.”
Cr McLoughlin said after a long flight, the shorebirds often arrived to the region in poor condition.
“One they get to Dr May's Island, these birds are exhausted and are vulnerable to predation,” she said.
“Leaving them in peace to rest and fill up to fuel their active lifestyles is integral to their survival.”
Shorebirds are recognised as a matter of national environmental significance under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Other ways visitors to Elliott Heads can ensure they help in the protection migratory bird species include:
- Maintain a safe distance
- Watch where you walk
- Remain outside of the closed area
Find out more information here.
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