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The Swan River is recognised as a very important area for waterbirds. There are 84 recorded species, of which 35 are seen regularly. But there has been a loss of species and abundance especially in the last few decades in particularly caused by disturbance.
Disturbance can be caused by any human activity that alters the behaviour of birds. In 2003 a study on the river showed disturbance events were caused by everything from jet skis to people innocently walking along the shore.
When birds are disturbed they take off and fly away. This can become a problem as eggs and chicks can be left alone and open to predation. Some beach-nesting birds are exhasuted after travelling so far and need to feed daily.
Beach-nesting Birds of the Swan River
Information for Beach Nesting Bird volunteers
Ethical birding - A factsheet for birders which outlines some important ways to help protect the birds and their environment while monitoring birds.