Media Releases 2013

Posted on 05/04/2013 by Phillip Island Nature Parks

The annual short-tailed shearwater migration is anticipated to begin late April and Phillip Island Nature Parks is seeking community support to ensure the safe passage of the birds.

“We expect the shearwater chicks will depart sometime between April 21 and May 7,” said Mr Burgan, coordinator of Phillip Island Nature Parks’ Shearwater Rescue Patrol.

“During that time birds may be on roads as they learn to fly. We urge drivers to take care.”

The birds are known to flock to the San Remo bridge lights. As in past years, the bridge lights will be switched off for a few nights around April 25 during the peak of departure. Signs will be placed at either end to warn drivers of the changed traffic conditions.

“We thank SP AusNet, Vic Roads and Bass Coast Shire Council for their assistance in ensuring the safe migration of the birds from Phillip Island,” said Mr Burgan.

Nature Parks’ staff and volunteers will be patrolling areas where the birds land on roads, particularly around Surf Beach, Cape Woolamai and near the Penguin Parade. A training session for volunteers will be conducted on Wednesday April 17. Those interested in volunteering should contact Graeme Burgan on 5951 2873 or gburgan@penguins.org.au.

Since the inception of the Shearwater Rescue Patrol in 1999, hundreds of birds have been saved from the roads as they attempt to fly. Community support and volunteers have been instrumental in reducing the number of shearwaters killed or injured on roads.

About short tailed shearwaters:

Short-tailed shearwaters are seabirds which undertake one of the world’s great migrations - flying over 16 000 kilometres from the Bering Sea near Alaska to their breeding grounds on Phillip Island each year.

Arriving in September, they spend the summer raising a single chick. In mid-April, the parents fly back to the Bering Sea, leaving their chicks behind. By late April, the chicks emerge from their burrows and take to the skies for the first time for their long journey northwards.

short tailed shearwaters

Media Enquiries:
Ms Danene Jones - Communications Executive
Tel:  +613 5951 2825  Mobile: 0418 402 161 Email: djones@penguins.org.au