500 signatures reached
To: Darryn Lyons, Mayor City of Greater Geelong and Lisa Neville, Minister for Environment
Save the White-Bellied Sea Eagles on Swan Bay
Dear Mayor Lyons and Minister Neville
We ask you to use your influence to prevent a Microlight Training and Storage Facility being approved on the shores of Swan Bay. We ask you to protect the breeding pair of White-Bellied Sea Eagles nesting within 2kms of the proposed airfield.
Why is this important?
The White-Bellied Sea Eagle is one of our most endangered bird species. It is estimated that there only one hundred pairs left in Victoria, where it is listed as "Threatened". As well as the parent birds, two fledglings have been observed in the nest on the shores of Swan Bay.
The White-bellied Sea-Eagle is sensitive to disturbance when nesting and may desert nests and young if confronted by humans or exposed to human activity.
The Eagles have a flight path of several kilometres when foraging for food. That flight path lies along the foreshore of Swan Bay.
Approval of a Microlight Training Facility within 2km of the nest and immediately adjacent to the foraging flight path will create a significant risk of disturbance to these birds. In addition to the noise factor, White-Bellied Sea Eagles are known to perceive aircraft as potential predators. And microlights flying across the foreshore have the potential to create a perceived barrier on the White-Bellied Sea Eagle's flight path thus disrupting foraging.
Although the applicant has proposed a numbers of conditions designed to avoid disturbance, these are not deemed to be sufficient to guarantee the survival and proliferation of these birds. And these conditions are seen as impossible to enforce - particularly for external pilots using this proposed airfield.
The appearance, nesting and breeding of White-Bellied Sea Eagles is a very rare event. There is relatively high level of uncertainty about disturbance impacts on this species. Caution should be taken to make absolutely sure that there is no negative impact. In the absence of certainty the application should be rejected.