Alert – Paddlers in Torrens Island Environs

Alert to Paddlers in Torrens Island Environs

Beach-nesting birds will abandon their nests if disturbed

“(Torrens Island) forms the centrepiece of two important ecological protected zones…
and is arguably one of Adelaide’s most important ecological assets”.
(Susan Close, MP for Port Adelaide, House of Assembly, Thursday 11 April 2013).

Bird colonies on the Northern Tip of Torrens Island and sand islands to the west should be not be disturbed. Egrets, Cormorants and Night Herons nesting on the Northern Tip of Torrens Island and Pelicans, Silver Gulls and Terns nesting on the sand islands to the west ( sometimes called "Bird Island" or "Pelican Island", and also known as "Section Bank", which link up with the breakwater opposite the Passenger & Container Terminals) will abandon their nests with eggs or young chicks if disturbed. A whole breeding season is lost.

Do not walk through the colony, do not drag or portage craft through the area as the nesting birds will abandon eggs and young chicks.

Observe from a distance (with binoculars) Protection of the nesting colonies is a priority with Royal Spoonbill and Sacred Ibis also known to nest in the area close to Torrens Island.

In February 2013 a group from Friends of Torrens Island conducted a bird count on Section Bank. This was part of the Beach-Nesting Birds Survey conducted by Birds Australia (BA).

"As part of the survey the group recorded threats to the local bird population, including human interaction with sand dunes. It was particularly concerning to note that a canoe had been dragged across the entire sand dune, disturbing breeding colonies and leading to nests being abandoned. For some bird species once a nesting area is threatened the birds will not return and an entire reproductive season is lost. The Section Bank is rich with bird life and care needs to be taken to ensure that it remains a safe breeding colony for its many species." Kirsty Darlaston (from FoTI)

Want more information or to get involved in bird conservation and research

Birds Australia Beach-nesting Project: www.birdlife.org.au/projects/beach-nestingbirds/latest-news-bnbAlert

Adelaide Zoo Pelican Research Group: http://www.zoossa.com.au/conservation-ark/conservation/past-programs?program=AUSTRALIAN%20PELICAN

Friends of Torrens Island: http://www.friendsoftorrensisland.org/