Declining eastern osprey populations in South Australia are the focus of a project that will help restore their home ranges and create nesting sites.
The Southern Yorke Peninsula Landcare Group has won a National Landcare Small Environmental Grant and will work with the community on the project.
It will develop a recovery plan for eastern osprey on Yorke Peninsula that will determine where it will set up nest platforms.
Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Landscape Ranger Janet Moore said the project was linked to recent survey results which showed further decline in osprey populations across South Australia.
“Osprey monitoring on southern Yorke Peninsula between 2014 and 2016 found that there are no remaining breeding pairs on the mainland, restricting their breeding to offshore islands,” Ms Moore said.
“This project aims to protect and restore the historical home ranges of osprey on Yorke Peninsula by encouraging the birds to reclaim the key nesting areas used before they were disturbed by human activities and development on the coast.”
Ms Moore said artificial nesting platforms had been erected elsewhere in South Australia and interstate with high success rates.
“The nesting platforms have been readily colonised in areas where osprey would normally occur with good foraging sites adjacent,” she said. “In some areas, the nesting platforms have achieved higher productivity success than natural nest sites.”
Ms Moore said Southern Yorke Peninsula Landcare would engage a consultant to produce the recovery plan and work with local community groups to educate, determine logistics and identify community capacity for the management, guardianship and responsibility for a nest platform in their local area.
“It is hoped that the outcome will be an empowered local community to be active custodians of each platform, with a plan to guide and support future recovery efforts,” she said.
“And for the osprey, a place to nest.”
Anyone interested in being involved in the project can contact Kent Treloar from Southern Yorke Peninsula Landcare on 8853 2152 or Natural Resources Northern and Yorke on (08) 8841 3400.
*Image courtesy of Sardaka