News & Media releases

Threatened bird species nesting on Point Walter Spit

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions is encouraging recreation river users and fishers to please avoid Point Walter Spit. There are an estimated 60 breeding pairs of Fairy Terns making use of the vegetation and shoreline at the end of the Spit. The City of Melville has erected signage discouraging access to the end of the Spit.

It is estimated that there are less than 1600 breeding pairs of Fairy Terns left in Western Australia. These tiny birds nest between October and January and, like many shorebirds, will nest above the high-tide mark on sandy beaches, where they lay one or two speckled eggs in a shallow scrape in the sand. The eggs and chicks are highly vulnerable to disturbance as well as predators.

Other birds, including Pied Oyster Catchers and Red-Capped Plovers also nest in this area.  Birdlife WA and the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions River Guardians program have recently installed chick shelters at the end of the Spit to give the birds a helping hand and are monitoring the area. 

Learn more about beach nesting birds and what can be done to help protect them by visiting the Birldlife WA website.