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An osprey flying high in the Tweed after a successful fishing expedition. The species is listed as vulnerable to extinction in NSW. Photo: Sally Hinton
This November, Council is shining a spotlight on one of the Tweed’s favourite top-order predators – the osprey, listed as vulnerable to extinction in NSW.
To help educate the community about the local osprey population, Council has launched a new webpage and online StoryMap – a tool which provides an informative, fun and interactive way for residents and kids to engage and learn about these amazing birds.
Ospreys are integral to biodiversity in estuarine ecosystems and their presence in waterways can be an indicator of good waterway health.
Council’s Team Leader Coast and Waterways Tom Alletson said working to protect the local osprey population has been a focus of Council’s for many years.
“Ospreys in the Tweed are much admired and cherished by locals and tourists alike," Mr Alletson said.
“Council is working to ensure ospreys are secure in the wild, their habitat is protected and restored and they remain an iconic member of our community for future generations.”
Council is also urging the community to help the local osprey population in three ways:
Dispose of fishing line and tackle responsibly.
Help monitor nest sites during breeding season from March to November – contact via Council’s website at tweed.nsw.gov.au/osprey.
Protect and rehabilitate estuarine osprey habitat for future generations via Council’s River Health Grants scheme.
Mr Alletson said in the Tweed Shire, osprey observations have been recorded from the Tweed Coast to the upper limits of Tweed River Estuary at Murwillumbah.
“As we last recorded in the 2022 breeding season, there were 27 artificial and two natural nests in the Tweed Shire, with 20 active breeding sites,” he said.
“We’d love the community to help monitor ospreys to find new nesting sites or keep an eye on the ones that are there. We want to ensure this species not only survives, but flourishes, and continues to breed successfully in the Tweed.”
The removal of established, native riparian vegetation over time in the Tweed has significantly reduced suitable nesting sites and habitat connectivity for the local osprey population. In the absence of tall, mature trees, the majority of the Tweed’s vulnerable osprey population now rely on artificial nesting structures during their annual breeding season, from March to November.
Installation of secure, artificial nesting structures for osprey and riparian restoration and revegetation are key to Council's holistic approach to improving the health of local waterways.
Protecting the Tweed Coast osprey population is one way Council is looking after the Tweed’s environment for future generations to enjoy.
To learn more about the osprey, visit the new StoryMap interactive site or find out how you can volunteer to monitor nesting sites, visit tweed.nsw.gov.au/osprey.
In March this year, Council installed this artificial osprey nesting platform at Hastings Point Holiday Park. The nest was relocated from its precarious location on a light pole on the Hastings Point Tweed Coast Road Bridge.
Photo 1: Osprey in flightCaption: An osprey flying high in the Tweed after a successful fishing expedition. This species is listed as vulnerable to extinction in NSW. Photo: Sally Hinton
Photo 2: Osprey overlooking nest siteCaption: An osprey overlooking its artificial nest site on the Tweed Sand Bypass jetty. Photo: Dean Lock
Photo 3: Artificial osprey nesting platformCaption: In March this year, Council installed this artificial osprey nesting platform at Hastings Point Holiday Park. The nest was relocated from its precarious location on a light pole on the Hastings Point Tweed Coast Road Bridge.
Connection to Council’s Community Strategic Plan:
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