sharetheshore with our Endangered Beach Nesting Birds

Shorebird Feature: #sharetheshore with our Endangered Beach Nesting Birds

Newsletters, The Scoop

Australia is home to several species of waders and seabirds that nest on our ocean beaches and on the sandy shores, sandspits and islands within our estuaries. These environments are rich with marine life that the birds use to raise their families.

Some birds, such as the pied oystercatcher, hooded dotterel and beach stone-curlew, are coastal residents all year, returning to preferred nesting sites to breed over spring and summer. Others, such as the little tern, migrate over thousands of kilometres of ocean each year, returning in spring to nest alongside the local birds.

But many species of beach-nesting birds are under threat of extinction, largely due to disturbance by dogs, unaware beachgoers and 4WD vehicles on beaches.


“These shorebirds help structure coastal marine communities and maintain the transfer of nutrients between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems,”

Claire Greenwell (Shorebird Researcher and Photographer)

How you can help:

NPWS recommends a few simple steps you can take to help keep beach-nesting birds safe:

  1. Look out for bird nesting signs or roped-off nesting areas on the beach and follow the advice.
  2. Walk your dogs on dog-friendly beaches only and always keep them on a leash, unless you’re on a designated off-leash beach.
  3. Drive only on designated beaches and areas, and keep below the high-tide mark.
  4. When you’re near a nesting area, stick to the wet sand and give the birds plenty of space – at least 250m
  5. Report sightings of these threatened birds to the Environment Line.
  6. Take 3 for the sea, or 4 for the shore – pick up rubbish and dispose of it thoughtfully.