Ever increasing anthropogenic pressures are causing mayhem against the natural functioning of this planet with much of the earths biodiversity declining at an unprecedented rate. Amongst the birds, seabirds and shorebirds have been particularly hard hit with many species now sadly featuring on the endangered list.
Yet with concerted conservation effort it is possible to bring species back from the brink of extinction and good news stories are out there!
Global populations of the charismatic African black oystercatcher, with its distinctive black plumage and blood red bill and legs, plummeted to a low of 6500 birds. However when conservationists banned off road driving on South African beaches, (where the oystercatchers nest and feed) numbers started to quickly recover. The rapid invasion of the intertidal zone by the Mediterranean mussel also aided the oystercatchers by providing an increased food supply. Numbers have now recovered so well that the oystercatchers have expanded their historic range of the Namibian and western and southern Cape coastlines of South Africa and can now be found as far a field as Mozambique.
The story of the oystercatchers shows that where we put commitment and effort we can change negative news into a positive! Each of us has the ability to make a positive change for the sustainability of the planet and all we need to do is commit to making that change!