WITH the September school holidays and October long weekend almost upon us, locals and tourists are being asked to tread carefully along the sands of Winda Woppa.
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The area is now home to an endangered species of bird, the Little Tern.
Local Neil Fraser tells the story of how the Little Terns first appeared at Winda Woppa.
“The dredging of the mouth of the Myall River in 2015 led to an unexpected outcome.”
“A colony of Little Tern found the dredged sand and shingle to be an ideal nesting location,” Neil said.
“Twenty-three breeding pairs were recorded on Winda Woppa last summer and they successfully raised 28 fledglings.”
“The relative isolation and adjacent fishing grounds in Port Stephens and the Myall River make Winda Woppa an ideal nesting location.”
“Unfortunately for Little Tern, their preferred coastal nesting sites are also popular recreational areas for holiday makers, boaties, fishermen, other beach users and their dogs.”
Neil added, “The highly camouflaged eggs can be accidentally trodden on and disturbing hidden chicks also exposes them to predators, the main predators at Winda Woppa are Silver Gulls.”
The NSW Parks and Wildlife Service is conducting management programs at Little Tern nesting sites with their Save Our Species program and Winda Woppa has been included in the 2017/18 program.
Local volunteers are required to monitor the progress of nesting, maintain fencing and signage, and educate beach users.
An information night for volunteers and other interested persons will be held at Tea Gardens in the near future.
Interested persons can call Neil Fraser on 0436 363 822 for details.
Volunteers can also call Jill Madden on 0418 236 582.
By: Margie TIERNEY