STANDING still on the tidal mudflats of Roebuck Bay is an amazing experience. The reason being, the soft, squishy mud under your feet is likely to be crawling with invertebrates that are either hunting for food or escaping the bills of hungry shorebirds.
Getting up close and personal with Roebuck Bay’s minuscule mud dwellers has been an enjoyable obsession for photographer Peter Strain, who has spent hundreds of hours taking their photos. Read the wonderful story here »
A UWA ecologist says most invertebrate populations in the mud of Roebuck Bay’s intertidal zone have decreased significantly after blooms of the toxic blue-green Lyngbya.
Come along to Lotteries house in Broome tonight at 7.30pm. This project is sponsored by Inspiring Australia.
Here is the new film that captures the passion of the Broome community for Roebuck Bay, which is home to rare dolphins, thousands of migratory shorebirds, trillions of mud invertebrates, crocodiles, seagrass meadows, mangroves, lots of fish, dugongs, turtles and much more. The message is look after it and reduce run off from your property into Broome’s stormwater drains. It is currently running on Goolarri Television and was funded by Rangelands NRM.
Have you wondered when the 600 or more invertebrate species that live in the mudflats of Roebuck Bay reproduce? Monthly sampling over the last twelve years indicates great variability amongst species, so at any given time there is likely to be a lot of eggs and sperm being released into the water, which are hopefully fusing and then developing into larvae, then invertebrates, which are the food for thousands of migratory shorebirds, fish and more… Lots of good reasons to keep our drains clean of rubbish, fertilisers and garden waste during the wet season, as they can become food algal blooms of Lyngbya and impact the water quality which is not good for the wonderful marine life that exists in Roebuck Bay.
Roebuck Bay is recognised as a hotspot for Australian snubfin dolphins.
Only discovered in 2006, Snubfins are Australia’s only endemic dolphin. They do however need our communities help to survive. Here are tips for boaters in Roebuck Bay:
- Maintain a stable course – no sudden direction change.
- Keep speed to less than five knots around creeks, mangroves, seagrass and shallow turbid waters.
- Be on the lookout for dolphins and slow down or idle engine until they are well clear of the boat.
- Minimise loss of monofilament line by not fishing against mangroves or other areas where line can be lost, and make sure you retrieve line and hooks.
Read and listen to an interview with Chris Hassell, who has been an active member of the Roebuck Bay Working Group since 2004, makjing an outstanding contribution toward the management and protection of Roebuck Bay. Chris’ passion for the migratory shorebirds that migrate to Roebuck Bay each year is truly inspirational. Here is the link to hear and read more »
Read Chris Hassell’s latest report on his work with the Global Flyway Network on Migratory Shorebirds in Bohai Bay, Northern China during April May 2011. The GFN report of the field work in Bohai Bay, Northern China during April and May 2011 is now up on the Global Flyway Network site.
Peak scientific publication to use data from GFN study
There will also be a scientific paper published in the next volume of “Emu-Austral Ornithology” using the data from Chris Hassell’s 2009 visit and the data from Yan Hong Yan. This report highlights the pressures that the migratory birds are facing during their stopover periods in the Yellow Sea. It is rather depressing reading (but interesting I hope!) Read the report here »