Sea-EagleCAM Intervention Policy

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    EagleCAM is operated under a BirdLife Australia Research Agreement, working in partnership with the NSW Office of Environment and Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA). Our objective is to observe and learn about White-bellied Sea-Eagle (WBSE) biology without interfering in their behaviour or the processes that they undergo in the natural environment. These are wild birds and it is our privilege to observe their breeding behaviour.

    The nest is in the Newington Nature Reserve Woodland that contains the threatened Sydney Turpentine-Ironbark community. The area has restricted access; there is limited vehicle access. The only probable predators at the nest would be other large raptors. Though there are foxes in the area, the nest is high in the tree and inaccessible to foxes, cats or dogs.

    Notes on intervention at the Sydney Olympic Park WBSE nest and Sea-EagleCAM

  • The primary function of the project is scientific research, to provide information for the understanding and conservation of the WBSE.
  • They are wild, free-flying birds and it is our privilege to observe their breeding behaviour as we do.
  • Our approved research protocol states that the cameras will be placed before egg-laying. Then the nest area and a buffer zone of 60 metres will be determined to protect the birds from any disturbance until several weeks after hatching. In other words, no visits at all during incubation and in the early time after hatching. From then on, there will still be minimal disturbance.
  • The current approved research protocol does not allow any access to the nest itself or any handling of the birds.
  • Approval is being sought for possible banding of eagles in any event when they are “in the hand”.
  • Advice is sought where necessary from experienced wildlife managers at the Office of Environment and Heritage (National Parks and Wildlife Service), BirdLife Australia and/or SOPA Ecology staff.
  • In extreme situations, after advice and approval from the wildlife managers listed above, retrieval of eggs or young may be authorised. The retrieval would be carried out by an authorised arborist climber.
  • In the event of a chick falling from the nest, the Office of Environment and Heritage(National Parks and Wildlife Service) has agreed that the chick could be retrieved from below the nest. It would be cared for by the approved NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) raptor carer or staff at Taronga Wildlife Hospital. The approved strategy would be to release the bird, after recovery, close to the Newington site for natural dispersal.
  • The main threats to the chicks are natural – such as extreme weather, lack of food or sibling rivalry. Nature will take its course, with no human intervention. Mostly this will bring joy and wonder and at times, sadness.