WIRES receiving reports of dead and dying seabirds at Coffs Harbour jetty

Friday, November 1, 2013

From Corindi beach all the way along the coastline to Nambucca Heads WIRES is receiving reports of dying shearwaters washing up on beaches.

The migratory shearwater is a seabird which travels many hundreds of kilometres and this is a yearly occurrence which is classed as a natural event. Only the strongest birds survive their journey.

"The general public find it upsetting to see these animals suffering and understandably so” says Teresa Clarke from WIRES Mid North Coast branch “By the time they manage to arrive on our shores they are exhausted and have already used all of their energy to make the journey. They are just too exhausted to survive. People are calling us from everywhere along our coastline. I have had 8 birds in care myself and tried very hard to help them back to good health but unfortunately none of them had the strength to recover. ”

“The one thing that we can do at WIRES is make them as comfortable as possible and try to restore them back to good health but this is rarely achievable in our experience. We encourage people to report sightings of shearwaters they are concerned about and we will do everything we can possible for them. WIRES is obviously aware that this event happens annually and would like people to understand the nature of it. It’s a harsh but natural cycle of the species.”

Shearwaters or “mutton birds” to use their more widely recognised name have one of the largest populations in the world and can be found all over the globe. There are four different species of shearwater in NSW and the “short-tailed shearwater” is the one we are seeing predominantly along our coastal area. There are an estimated 18 million of this species across the world. The other species found in NSW are the sooty shearwater, the wedge-tailed shearwater and the fleshy-footed shearwater. The strongest individuals can live to almost 40 years of age.

“If anyone does find a shearwater and they are concerned for its welfare they can call WIRES for assistance and advice. We are always here to help.”

If you find an injured, orphaned or displaced native animal call WIRES on 13000 WIRES

Donations to WIRES can be made at www.wires.org.au

Media Contact: WIRES (02) 8977 3327

Media Email: [email protected]

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