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Mural raises awareness of threatened shorebirds

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Mural raises awareness of threatened shorebirds

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Caloundra mural showcases shorebirds that call Sunshine Coast home each summer

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A striking mural at Golden Beach is part of council’s plan to raise awareness about why we need to share our Sunshine Coast shorelines with resident and migratory shorebirds.

Caloundra artist Steven Bordonaro painted the mural at The Esplanade, Golden Beach, as a new way to spread the word on the importance of protecting these birds.

The mural was commissioned by Sunshine Coast Council and funded through the Environment Levy.

The levy is funded by ratepayers and supports the delivery of a range of environmental projects and initiatives that are carried out by council and the community.

A Bar-Tailed Godwit is a migratory shorebird that visits each summer.

It showcases three migratory shorebirds that call the Sunshine Coast home each summer and two resident shorebirds you can see all year round.

The migratory species begin their journey in the northern hemisphere – from places such as Siberia, China and Alaska – and journey for up to 25,000 kilometres before landing on our shores to feed and rest in the summer months.

During its lifetime, a migratory shorebird can fly 380,000 kilometres, which is why it is essential the birds are given the chance to rest and put on weight for their difficult return journey.

Environment and Liveability Portfolio Councillor Peter Cox said shorebirds were among the most threatened group of bird species in the world and the mural was part of council’s Shorebird Conservation Action Plan to raise awareness of their plight.

“These incredible creatures fly half-way across the world – and we are lucky enough to have them visit the Sunshine Coast at both the Pumicestone Passage and Maroochy River,” Cr Cox said.

“Disturbances cause them to take flight, which uses a lot of energy and may affect their strength and limit their ability to migrate.

“It can also affect breeding – which is a big deal for a threatened species.

A Beach-Stone Curlew is a resident shorebird that breeds in summer.

“We hope the mural will raise awareness of the need to co-exist with these magnificent creatures.”

Divisional councillor Terry Landsberg said the Pumicestone Passage was important habitat for the endangered birds.

“Shorebirds live around in-stream sand islands and coastal foredunes, typically around river mouths which is why they favour the Pumicestone Passage,” Cr Landsberg said.

“It’s a stunning location enjoyed by many in our community, visitors to the region as well as providing essential habitat for shorebirds, and there is space for all of us if we can be considerate of other users.”

Local Sunshine Coast artist Steven Bordonaro was tasked with turning an unused amenity block wall into a work of art.

“I’m so pleased to be able to help raise awareness and spread the work about the precious shorebirds that visit and rest in this beautiful area,” Mr Bordonaro said.

The Pacific Golden Plover is one of seven birds represented on the mural.

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Coastal Project and Permits Officer Laura Smith said the mural showcased five resident and migratory shorebirds.

“There are three migratory shorebirds on the mural – the Bar-Tailed Godwit, Whimbrel and the Eastern Curlew—which rest and feed on our shores between November and April during the summer months,” Ms Smith said.

“Our resident species painted on the mural – the Pied Oyster Catcher and Beach-Stone Curlew – also breed in these months.

“Council has also released a shorebird video series via Facebook which highlights the plight of the birds.

The Pied Oyster Catcher is among the Sunshine Coast’s resident shorebirds.

“Currently worldwide shorebird populations are declining and through projects like this we hope to educate and help people fall in love with shorebirds to help maintain their populations for future generations.”

Share our coast with shorebirds by:

  • not running at flocks of shorebirds to make them take flight
  • letting shorebirds rest – observe quietly from a distance
  • keeping your dogs under control
  • not driving on beaches near shorebird nest sites
  • taking your rubbish home with you.

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