At last night's meeting the guest speaker was Dr Mike Newman, sharing elements of his findings in the Australian Pied Oystercatcher Project 1977- 2009. Longitudinal studies are expensive and present logistical difficulties for professional researchers, however amateur ornithologists can make important contributions in enabling these studies.
The research found that adult Australian Pied Oystercatchers show extreme faithfulness to their breeding area despite an increase in recreational disturbance, and in the case of some pairs, continuous breeding failure. These findings have implications for planned developments in Oystercatcher nesting areas.
Mike's presentation featured the photographs of Alan Fletcher.
The Australian Pied Oystercatcher Heamatopus longirostris is restricted to Australia, Southern New Guinea and the Aru Islands. There is no evidence of recent declines in the most important parts of the species’ range in Tasmania or Victoria but the northern New South Wales population is in decline. The main current and potential threats include coastal development, habitat loss, human recreation disturbance, fox predation, clam harvesting, kelp harvesting from sandy shores and rising sea levels with an increased incidence of storm surges associated with global climate change.