Protecting our Native Wildlife

Protecting wildlife, sharing shorelines

Sharing shorelines means so much more than juggling the competing human needs of boaties, jet-skiers, fishermen and pet owners.

Wildlife need their habitat to be undisturbed in order to feed and breed successfully. Our connection to Nature is strengthened by the presence of turtles, dolphins and dugong along with resident and migratory shorebirds. But, as the island’s population and tourist visitation increases, the pressure on our natural environment and wildlife intensifies.

Scores of jet-ski riders and their jet-skis parked on the shoreline of Norfolk Beach, Coochiemudlo Island.
Scores of jet-ski riders and their vessels parked on the shoreline of Norfolk Beach, Coochiemudlo Island.

It’s a delicate balancing act

Residents and tourists share a collective responsibility to maintain the balance for speciesto not only survive but thrive.

Surrounded by the waters of the Moreton Bay Marine Park, and recognised internationally under the Ramsar Convention as vitally important to the survival of migratory and resident shorebirds, Coochiemudlo Island is under pressure: Human activity heightens the squeeze on wildlife, especially shorebirds that live only between high and low tidelines.

Our resident shorebirds, pied oystercatchers and beach stone-curlews, breed on the shoreline. They build nests on the ground which means that the eggs and small chicks are very vulnerable to being eaten and disturbed by unrestrained dogs and cats.

Pied oystercatcher with young chick on Main Beach, Coochiemudlo Island.
Chicks are vulnerable in the high-risk intertidal zone. After an unfortunate separation, wildlife carers reunited this pied oystercatcher chick with its parents. (Photo taken on Main Beach East, Coochiemudlo Island, 31 October 2022.)
Pied oystercatcher parent with young chick following,, on Main Beach East on Coochiemudlo Island
Three weeks later: The pied oystercatcher chick (right) with one of its parents.
Two pied oystercatchers on Main Beach East, Coochiemudlo Island.
By 4 December 2022, the chick is big enough to fly!

How can you help?

Give wildlife space as you walk around Coochiemudlo Island.

Respect the dog off-leash designated area: The dog off-leash area on Coochiemudlo Island, west of the barge ramp on Main Beach, can be used at specific times of the year to coincide with the departure and arrival patterns of migratory shore birds.

Be informed, take note of signage: You can support the survival of migratory and resident shorebirds by better understanding the science. Read the signage located on the ferry terminals to and from Coochiemudlo Island.

Launching the signage at Coochiemudlo, from left Dr Robert Bush, Qld Wader Study Group, Kim Richards MP and Cr Lance Hewlett
Launching the signage at ferry terminal on Coochiemudlo Island: from left Dr Robert Bush (Qld Wader Study Group), Kim Richards MP, and Cr Lance Hewlett.

Information for pet owners

The needs of domestic and native animals can both be met with public awareness and responsible pet management. The health of our environment relies on the harmonious inter-relationship of all species within the habitat.


Extra resources