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Protect birds breeding on our beaches

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In an attempt to protect birds that breed on our shores, BirdLife Overberg in conjunction with the Overstrand Municipality and Nature’s Valley Trust has started erecting these warning signs near nesting sites.
In an attempt to protect birds that breed on our shores, BirdLife Overberg in conjunction with the Overstrand Municipality and Nature’s Valley Trust has started erecting these warning signs near nesting sites.

The African Oystercatcher (swarttobie) and White-fronted Plover (vaalstrandkiewiet) are the two beach breeding birds that occur along the Overstrand coastline.

The future of both of these species which are hugely sought-after in the birding tourism market, is under threat.

Beach visitors and dogs often drive these birds off their nests in the sand. The eggs can then overheat in the sun or are in danger of being eaten or destroyed by dogs and other predators.

The same applies to chicks once hatched. Illegal vehicles on beaches further disrupt breeding birds and may even damage nests.

One of the projects of BirdLife Overberg’s CleanMarine campaign is aimed at educating beachgoers to stay clear of such nests. BirdLife Overberg in collaboration with the Nature’s Valley Trust and the Overstrand Municipality are busy erecting warning signs 30 m from identified nesting sites to encourage people not to approach any closer. “Please give these birds space while they are trying to breed or raise chicks on our beaches, dunes and shores,” says Dr Anton Odendal of BirdLife Overberg.

For more information or to report all breeding attempts contact Anton Odendal at birding@overberg.co.za or 082 550 3347, or contact BirdLife Overberg if you need support with the protection of the birds.

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