For the first time in a decade a pair of Pied Oystercatcher have hatched a chick at Congo, within Eurobodalla National Park, much to the delight of volunteers and campers.
National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) Shorebird Recovery Program Coordinator Amy Harris, said the endangered chick emerged from the nest following years of unsuccessful attempts to breed.
“Pied Oystercatchers have tried to nest here at Congo for many years but never seem to get to chick hatching stage,” Ms Harris said.
“There is thought to be fewer than 200 breeding pairs along the NSW coast and their conservation is supported through the NSW Government’s $100 million Saving our Species program.
“Fox predation, inundation and disturbance have affected them in the past so this year our volunteers put in extraordinary effort to protect the nest, and we’re delighted these efforts have paid off.
“Since October we have undertaken fox control work with the support of South East Local Land Services to manage a number of foxes that had been seen in the direct vicinity of the nest.
“They have also helped strengthen the shorebird signage surrounding the nest and on adjacent beaches through much needed grant funding.
“The nest, located at the entrance to the creek, was also threatened by inundation from King Tides but thanks to our dedicated volunteers and people camping nearby we were able to successfully sandbag it just in time.
“We are not sure if the chick is male or female but they are regularly spotted learning to feed and getting used to their new surroundings in the sparse grass at the creek entrance.
“To think that a little egg in a vulnerable nest inspired volunteers and campers to pull out all stops and protect them is quite simply amazing.
“Without their protection and active conservation is likely the story would be much different and we may have been reporting 11 years with no successful breeding.
“But in fact it’s the complete opposite, we are now celebrating the birth of the chick and have our fingers crossed they return to Congo next year,” Ms Harris said. Media Release