Shorebirds are an integral part of life in Broome. From the phenomenal 40 years of continuous research conducted by the Australasian Wader Study Group in Roebuck Bay and Eighty Mile Beach to the Flock Oz themed community engagement events – a special collaboration between several local community organisations – and the important shorebird tours and annual courses conducted by the Broome Bird Observatory, educating visitors from all parts of the world.
May 24th was a day of celebrating shorebirds for the year 5 Kimberley Primary Extension and Academic Challenge (PEAC) class. Once again Roebuck Bay Working Group facilitated competition entries for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) Shorebird Poster Competition. This competition started in 2018, and since 2020 Roebuck Bay Working Group, through the Science on the Broome Coast series, has facilitated activities encouraging local school children to enter the competition, ensuring Broome is ‘on the map’ for the nationwide competition. So far, one Broome student has been awarded 2nd place (2021) and three students received commendation certificates for their work (2020, 2021)!
Over the last two years, the Roebuck Bay Working Group and Yawuru Land and Sea Unit joined forces with Inspiring Australia, Broome Bird Observatory, Yane Sotirsoki Photography and Parks and Wildlife Service – Kimberley, offering students the chance to win local prizes as well as being part of the national competition. Students from various Broome primary schools participated in the national competition submitting over 30 posters in the last two competitions.
The 2022 theme for the 2022 competition – “Create an ecotourism poster for a local wetland or coastal area that provides an important habitat for shorebirds and other animals.”
The morning with PEAC students started with a presentation about what makes Roebuck Bay Australia’s best shorebird site. Discussing Roebuck Bay as an ecosystem, the biology and behavior of migratory shorebirds and threats to birds while on Roebuck Bay and during migration.
The competition closes 12 August 2022. Posters will automatically enter a local competition and be judged by Broome Bird Observatory with prizes donated by Bird Observatory and Yane Sotiroski Photography.
After lunch there was Flock Oz painting event, where the class made their own small flock of colourful shorebirds to be put on display for other students to enjoy.
A very special thank you to Hannah Carnegie, Kimberley Regional Primary Extension and Challenge (PEAC) Coordinator/ Teacher and her wonderful students.
TAKING CARE OF ROEBUCK BAY 2022 SERIES
In 2022 a new group of year 6 students from a Kimberley Primary Extension and Academic Challenge (PEAC) class produced a short series of Stop Motion Animations to showcase wildlife of Roebuck Bay. After seeking expert advice as well as conducting their own research, the students set to work creating their Stop Motion Animations. Three of the iconic Roebuck Bay marine life groups have been represented this year, telling stories of the behaviour of these animals and details ways to help protect our wonderful wildlife. Here are a selection of these animations, made available to share with Broome residents and beyond. Many thanks once again to Hannah Carnegie, Kimberley Regional PEAC Coordinator/Teacher and her wonderful students.
Walk and Talk – Fish & other things Roebuck Bay
Saturday 25th June
10am – 11am
Town Beach Jetty
Join us at the new Town Beach Jetty as we discuss the outstanding diversity that makes Roebuck Bay a fish paradise and how we can help keep it that way!
Two great door prizes – Reef Chief Fishing shirt (kindly donated by Reef Chief) and tackle box with fishing supplies (thanks to DPIRD)
Places limited – RSVP gracemaglioRBWG@outlook.com by June 15
Composting Masterclass with Jardine Macdonald
This awesome short film is a practical demonstration on how to compost by Jardine Macdonald, Program Manager of Rangelands NRM WA. With a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Management) and Masters in Hydrogeology, Jardine is well qualified and passionate about soil health. Looking after soil health results in better soil structure to hold rainfall and nutrients, and healthy plants in return. Compost is an easy, inexpensive and rewarding way to use garden waste and help the soil food web become a super healthy garden. Composting also reduces the need to use pesticides on plants as it strengthens plants to resist garden pests. Doing away with pesticides in your garden reduces polluted runoff from your garden running into stormwater drains that discharge into Roebuck Bay. Moreover, composting helps to keep Roebuck Bay’s water quality clean and marine web healthy which includes fish stocks, migratory shorebirds and nearshore dolphins. Jardine is passionate about soil health so this is an awesome short film to help you learn how to compost.
Coastal Gardens A planting guide for Broome » is another great resource, providing practical advice on growing a waterwise garden that benefits your wallet and Roebuck Bay. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
For a recent Science on the Broome Coast event, Roebuck Bay Working group hosted a training event conducted by researchers from Dolphin Watch. Thanks to Dr Holly Raudino for the following article.
Forty new Dolphin Watch volunteers attended a training session on Monday evening 2nd May 2022 on dolphin ecology and behaviour and the use of the Marine Fauna sightings application, jointly delivered by Dr Holly Raudino and Mr Jason Menzies. This session emphasised the conservation status of snubfin and highlighted that the Roebuck Bay snubfin population is the highest known density across the species’ distribution. The training equips volunteers with the skills to conduct dolphin surveys and report these sighting using a smart phone app and the Finbook Roebuck Bay to identify individual dolphins by their unique shape and markings on their dorsal fins.
The theory training session was followed by a field day on Wednesday morning the 4th May 2022 on Yawuru sea country. The practical session
was made possible by the generous support of local tour operator, Absolute Ocean Charters, hosted aboard their vessel Contessa C. This gave newly trained Dolphin Watchers the opportunity to apply their dolphin species identification skills and practice recording dolphin data in the Marine Fauna Sightings application including dolphin species, numbers of dolphins and their behaviour. Both snubfin and bottlenose dolphins were sighted, photographed and reported by volunteers. Interestingly, bottlenose dolphins were only sighted by the Dolphin Watchers aboard the tour vessel and not by the DBCA survey vessels, highlighting the valuable contribution of Dolphin Watch volunteers to the census.
maintained in the marine park. Photographs were taken of the dorsal fins of all dolphins sighted and are used to identify individual dolphins. This information is used to assess the number of dolphins using Roebuck Bay over the time period of the census and to gather life history information on individual snubfins. The previous census was completed in April 2019.
These sightings will supplement the multiple-day census by Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and Nyamba Buru Yawuru Pty Ltd from the 2nd-6th May 2022 and are important in meeting the target of marine mammal species diversity being
Dolphin Watch volunteers that have now been trained in the Marine Fauna sightings application can contribute valuable data, particularly if they include high resolution dorsal fin photos that helps in ongoing monitoring of the snubfin dolphin population. This helps to understand habitat use by snubfin dolphins and seasonality of their movements in and around the Bay year-round including any important life history events. For example, the presence of a calf with an adult can confirm that the individual photographed is a female and mother and help us keep track of recruitment in the population.
These Dolphin Watch data will complement the periodic high intensity snubfin census surveys every few years led by Joint Managers (DBCA and Nyamba Buru Yawuru Pty Ltd) of Yawuru Nagulagun Roebuck Bay Marine Park (YNRBMP). These surveys are a team effort made possible by local DBCA Yawuru rangers and staff, NBY country managers and support from the DBCA Marine Science Program and together with the Dolphin Watch volunteers and tour operators are important in the on-going monitoring of the snubfin dolphins using YNRBMP.
Become a trained Dolphin Watch volunteer – yes – then come along to a FREE training evening hosted by Roebuck Bay Working Group. You will…
• Learn more about snubfin dolphins including how to identify individual;
dolphins with your free FinBook and
• Learn how to record your sightings in the Marine Fauna Sightings phone app;
• Apply your knowledge gained in the training session by getting out on Yawuru Nagulagun and participating in the snubfin census on Wed 4th May with Absolute Ocean Charters or Sunday 8th May with Broome Whale Watching (weather permitting) to put your dolphin watching skills into practice.
Roebuck Bay Working Group is comprised of Traditional Owners and government, local community, conservation groups and business. We work collaboratively to solve issues, raise awareness and encourage research and monitoring which supports responsible management and protection of Roebuck Bay.