Issue 7 ~ October 2018
The monthly newsletter of the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust.
Be safe … and watch your wake
The Lower Breede River is a conservation area and managed by the Lower Breede River Conservancy Trust (LBRCT). The rules listed below are not comprehensive; it is your responsibility to know and understand the latest laws that are applicable. Please contact the LBRCT for further inquiries.
Now you see me… I spy with my little eye, something cute among the rocks.White-fronted Plovers are so common along the shores of Witsand. You might not believe me because they blend in so well with the sand and move at the speed of light if you get too close. Preferring sandy shores and coastal dune systems, this plover can be seen along the sandy coastal shores, estuaries and inland river systems, feeding predominantly on insects, crustaceans and worms. Foraging day and night using the typical technique of plovers, running, stopping then searching for prey to pluck from the ground, then repeating the process for a delicious meal. It also stands while trembling its feet in the substratum, which disturbs invertebrates for it to catch.
The White-fronted Plover is monogamous and will nest in a scrape in the sand on a broad, open shoreline. These birds have been known to lay eggs all year round on the coast. They experience a very low breeding success for someone who lays eggs all year round. They need protection from outside disturbances which may scare the parents off the eggs. It’s because of these disturbances, the chicks stand a greater chance of dying. This trend has caused a noticeable decrease in their numbers. ShareTheShores is currently a project created by Nature’s Valley Trust.The Nature’s Valley Trust (NVT) is a small community driven NPO working at the cutting edge of integrated conservation in South Africa. NVT operates in, namely Conservation, Education, Community and Research. NVT takes a holistic view of people and the environment and uses the four programmes to help shape how people live, how they view the world around them, and how they as individuals can contribute to conserving the natural world.
We got in contact with Nature’s Valley after we realised how
many pairs of White-fronted Plovers occur on our beaches! Mark Brown, who is the Director of NVT, helped guide this project in the right direction by sharing his experiences with what aspects of the project were successful, what aspects weren’t, community support, merchandise and training.
With training, Nature’s Valley invited us along to do learn how and where to look for the eggs, how to handle the chicks, how the chicks get ringed and explained a process on how to age the egg once it’s been laid to predict the hatching date. The rings placed on these birds will also help in understanding migratory patterns along our coast for both the Oystercatcher and White-fronted Plover.
Thanks to the generosity and support of Nature’s Valley Trust, we are capable of extending the project to Witsand by allocating nesting
sites, by ringing the new born chicks and to make sure the parents don’t get as disturbed while nesting.
If you see a White-fronted Plover, please email the date, time, location and activity of the bird to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you see a bird surrounded by litter, please practice the Aussie way of 3 for the Sea by picking up any pieces of plastic to help their chicks grow up in a safe and healthy environment.
All the help is greatly appreciated!
Food and Beverage
The salinity, turbidity and temperature readings for the Breede Estuary
Run, Run, Run!
The water quality run shows the freshwater is still in the system. The system has had a way to naturally hit the ‘Reset Button’. We did the Water Quality Run on a sunny day with no wind, the joys of summer. Between melting snow and rainy down pours, the estuary is still fresh. The estuary mouth has a salinity or 22 PSU and a temperature of 18 degrees. It was a great day which brought about interesting sites and observations. We were lucky enough to see a Puff adder crossing the water. Summer is here!
Conservation launches their new projects in Infanta
After an Information Presentation at Bent Heads, thanks to a bit of help from Mark, the conservancy announced the expansion of their conservation projects.The year was spent setting up and proposing the correct project ideas and methods to achieve our goal, maintaining the biodiversity of the Breede Estuary. Once all the projects were set in place, the next step was expanding to Infanta. Thanks to our Part-Time employee, Attie Louw, the conservation projects have started off and are still going strong. Attie does Bait Collection as a part of the Invertebrate Monitoring Project, the monitoring of the Oystercatcher and Plover breeding pairs as a part of the SharetheShores and he does beach clean-ups as a part of the Litter Accumulation project. If your beaches are clean, you have him to thank!
Continue the good work!
Something to keep the kids entertained.
With the state of our planet, the best thing anyone can do to help is to reduce, reuse and recycle. Do your kids enjoy colouring? Well here’s and activity that will keep the kids entertained and the pencils organised!
What you need:
What to do:
We hope you enjoyed this months’ issue. Should you have any feedback, questions, or matters you would like us to cover in a future issue, please do not hesitate to write to us at email@example.com.