Beachgoers asked to support this year's shorebird chicks

National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) is urging Manning River residents and visitors to show consideration towards the endangered Pied Oystercatcher beach-nesting sites ahead of the August breeding season, to give this year's shorebird chicks the best chance possible.

Pied oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris), a shorebird, Conjola National Park

NPWS Ranger Michael Thomas is reminding local beachgoers to think about who they are sharing their beach with this winter.

"Soon the beaches around Manning River, particularly Old Bar Beach, Farquhar Inlet, Manning Point and the northern side of the Manning River at Harrington sand spit, will become important breeding territory to many pairs of endangered Pied Oystercatchers," said Mr Thomas.

"We need beachgoers to avoid the fenced-off areas which help protect the vulnerable ground nests, pet owners to respect the no dog areas and follow beach driving permit conditions.

"With fewer than 200 Pied Oystercatcher breeding pairs estimated to occur along the NSW coastline, we rely on the efforts of many individuals and groups to help keep the eggs of this endangered species safe during the five weeks it takes for them to hatch into fledglings.

"Shorebird nests are made directly on the sand's surface which makes them extremely vulnerable to attack from foxes, cats, dogs and native animals including gulls and crows. But human disturbances, including impacts from 4WD vehicles can also effect the survival of shorebird eggs.

"An important Pied Oystercatcher conservation effort is played-out, year-round by the volunteer group, the Mates of the Manning. Their dedicated members will be monitoring every nest and providing protection to the eggs and chicks.

"To coincide with the August breeding season, NPWS is stepping up fox control management in the area. This work involves coordinated action from Local Land Services, NPWS, MidCoast Council and Department of Lands and Forestry," said Mr Thomas.

The Shorebird Recovery Program, managed by NPWS, is one of many conservation projects under the NSW Government's Saving our Species program and aims to reduce the rate of decline of threatened shorebirds and monitor and protect nesting sites. Saving our Species is an innovative state-wide program that addresses the growing number of plants and animals in NSW facing extinction.

Pied Oystercatchers are striking in appearance due to their bold and contrasting black and white coloured feathers, and their unmistakable, long orange-red bill, red eyes and stout red-pink legs.

For more information about Pied Oystercatchers visit: Pied Oystercatcher - profile