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June 21, 2021

Bush stone-curlew numbers increasing in Tweed

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Bush stone-curlew with chick. Photo Theo Spyker.
Bush stone-curlew with chick. Photo Theo Spyker.

The bush stone-curlew was once common throughout mainland Australia but with development, loss of habitat and the impact of foxes and cats their numbers have reduced significantly in the northern rivers region and are now an endangered species.

Tweed Coast holiday parks have been working with Tweed Council to help assist the bush stone-curlew population in monitoring the population and managing threats to the birds in the parks. Issues were identified, including birds nesting on or in very close proximity to high use camp sites, disturbance of nests by park visitors, nesting in areas of high vehicle and pedestrian traffic and limited areas away from park users where the birds can roost.

In Northern NSW, the Bush Stone-Curlew breeding season begins around July and August and finishes around March.

A number of effective mitigation measures have been adopted including the implementation of signposting nests and roost sites to warn visitors of the nesting birds and their expected defence behaviours, fencing off areas around roost or nesting areas, relocating fallen timber to a nearby area or chipping larger branches and spreading this mulch in identified habitat areas. Where Bush Stone-curlews appear to be nesting on or adjacent to a popular camp site Tweed Coast Holiday Parks Fingal managers have adopted an effective policy of vetting the occupants of the site and only choosing those that are sympathetic to the birds and willing to act as unofficial ‘wardens’.

The endangered bush stone-Curlew now has a recorded 26 breeding pairs in the Tweed Shire.

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  1. Great news story of success against all odds. They are a lovely, quirky bird that too few people get to experience.
    And the key reasons for their increased survival and breeding success are the interest and active management by Tweed Council; the involvement of the local residents; and responsible dog ownership.

    It will be interesting to see if they recolonise similar suitable habitats in Byron Shire…..


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