Fox baiting helps endangered birds

A beach stone curlew, also known as a beach thick-knee.
A beach stone curlew, also known as a beach thick-knee. Wikipedia commons

ONE of the last-known breeding pairs of beach stone-curlews in New South Wales lives in Brunswick Heads and is being protected through fox baiting, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) said.

The NPWS is beginning its fox-baiting program in the Brunswick Heads Nature Reserve (north section) and it is hoped this will ensure the survival of one of only 12 known breeding pairs of the of critically endangered shorebird.

"Beach stone-curlews lay only one egg per season and raise only one chick," NPWS pest management officer Lisa Wellman said.

"We know a chick hatched here in 2010 survived and was photographed one year later in Yeppoon, Queensland," Ms Wellman said.

"It would be a tragedy to lose this breeding pair, or even one of the birds, to foxes."

The ground-dwelling birds are extremely vulnerable to foxes. However, Ms Wellman said foxes had been controlled in the northern Brunswick Head Nature Reserve through the Fox Threat Abatement Plan since 2009.

Topics:  environment fox baiting national parks and wildlife service

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