On Saturday, April 22nd, Hunter Region Landcare hosted a celebratory lunch for the Hunter Bird Observers Club (HBOC) on behalf of National Parks & Wildlife Services (NPWS) at the Stockton Sandspit.
This event marked the 20 Year Anniversary of on-going restoration works and surveys by HBOC in the Hunter Estuary to conserve local Shorebird species.
Representatives from NPWS gathered to extend their thanks and adulation to the incredible efforts of the participants from HBOC. This volunteer-driven Project not only established and subsequently maintains suitable Shorebird foraging habitat and roosts, but also monitors and surveys for these birds on a monthly basis – creating an invaluabledata-set of Shorebird populations in the Estuary.
It was particularly special to hear from core HBOC wader group members, who had been involved with conservation at the Stockton Sandspit since the 1970’s.
Attendees reflected on the project, its inception and growth over the decades and success.
It was so wonderful to hear the group share stories from decades past and anecdotes on what spurred their interest in Shorebirds.
The Hunter Region is fortunate to contain the Hunter Estuary, recognised as the most significant piece of Wetland in NSW and described as:
“ An important refuge for a diversity of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife and habitat for estuarine vegetation, the park provides a spectacular natural backdrop to the city of Newcastle while demonstrating innovative management of an internationally significant wetland. A vibrant local community seeks to protect and enhance the conservation values and local character of the area.” – Vision Statement from the Hunter Wetlands National Park Plan of Management
A representative from NPWS, in his words of thanks and recognition to HBOC, expressed that “the Hunter Bird Observers Club is an embodiment of that Vision Statement”.
Throughout May and June, a series of events to contribute to the works by HBOC in the restoration of Shorebird Habitat will be facilitated by the Hunter Region Landcare Network and NPWS. More details and registration here.