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.
The Point Walter sand spit has become an important habitat for nesting shorebirds in recent years, especially Fairy Terns. The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, in partnership with the City of Melville, has implemented a number of conservation management actions, including seasonal closure of the end of the spit, fencing and signage, to protect our shorebirds during the nesting season, minimise distrurbance and improve breeding success.
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.
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.