A summary of subcommittee activities and related news since the June TBPA meeting.
Revegetation work organised and supervised by Coastal Conversation Officer Warrick Barnes was carried out at the southern end of the Northern Walking Trail on Sunday June 21.
The event was well attended, with around 20 people participating including a couple of TBPA committee members. Approximately 600 native plants were planted over a 300-metre section of the track and adjacent areas. Further details and photos were published on the TBPA web site and in the July edition of Shorebirds.
Thanks to Warrick and all those who participated – and a special thanks to FAIBS, which is always well represented at such events in the Park through its very active membership.
Supplies have been requested for ongoing maintenance of the project, which is being monitored.
The subcommittee extends its (belated) congratulations to Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary Senior Ranger Erik Dahl, who was recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List this year for his outstanding public service to natural and cultural heritage preservation and conservation in SA.
Another of the boulders put in place at the crossing (northern end) to discourage vehicles from proceeding north was pushed into the channel recently. At Red Hill, the gate on Ruskin Road and Park fence were damaged (again) – NPWS informed regarding both incidents.
4WDs accessing areas behind homes in Thompson Beach South has been raised as an environmental issue requiring attention. Drivers have been damaging the area and leaving behind rubbish; some of it related to retrieval when they become bogged. 4WD activity is reportedly particularly prevalent on long weekends. The situation has been flagged with Council and NPWS, and will be discussed at July TBPA meeting.
Sharon C. has suggested to Council it run an event called “a dog’s breakfast”; a friendly, dog-inclusive get-together with the purpose of educating owners about how dogs can impact beach-nesting and migratory shorebirds, and best practices to avoid negative effects. Initial reaction from Council was favourable.
An interesting sighting in the last couple of weeks was a pair of Eastern Curlew at the crossing. A more disturbing sighting was a goat at Bakers Creek (Webb Beach side), which was reported to NPWS. If there is more than one in the area and a feral goat population was to become established, that could have a significant impact on the Park.
While boosting tourism in the area is an exciting prospect for some, appropriate environmental protections must be in place and working well before any big push on this front.
Monitoring and compliance activity are a major challenge – and if resources are stretched now, the situation could worsen with increased visitor numbers. How related issues will be addressed needs to be incorporated in any Council-led tourism related plans for the area.