Monday, January 23, 2006

More Shags on the Rocks?

My impression in recent years is that there is an increase in the number of Black-faced Shags in the Derwent Estuary. Bill & Els ,mentioned the numbers breeding on Betsey Island (see their earlier blog:"Iron Pot & Betsey Island 2/12/05"). Certainly around the Bellerive area, the numbers roosting on rocks and piers has increased. No doubt that could be explained in part, to the recent breeding season. I feel that it may have more to do with the banning of net fishing in the upper parts of the estuary, enabled in recent years. I have witnessed amateur fishermen pulling drowned cormorants from their nets and heard tales that are nothing short of horrific if true--(well you know what fishing stories are). I understand that Little Penguins suffer a similar fate.
Tasmania, Bass Strait in particular, is arguably the stronghold of this Southern Australian endemic species, but the Derwent is one of the easiest places to see them.

The accompanying images were taken on the Bellerive 2nd Bluff in the last few days.

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