Australia published National Directory of Important Migratory Shorebird Habitat

A National Directory of Important Migratory Shorebird Habitat ('Directory') was newly published by BirdLife Australia and supported by the Australian Government. The Directory identifies, and guides investment into the protection and restoration of, important migratory shorebird habitat around Australia. It builds community awareness and Indigenous knowledge, helps achieve the goals of the Australian Government’s Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds and contributes to the implementation of Australia’s international obligations to the conservation and management of migratory shorebirds. It is based on thousands of field surveys by volunteers and experts, millions of bird sightings and uses rigorous methodology to identify key sites, thus providing useful and objective guidance.

Habitat is key: Populations of many species of migratory shorebirds have undergone substantial decline over recent and extended periods of time. As an example, numbers of Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis) have declined by more than 80% over the course of by now four decades. Halting this decline and reversing the current trend is without alternative if threatened species are to avoid extinction and continue to contribute as an integral component of Australia nation’s biodiversity to the functioning of Australia’s ecosystems. Actions and processes threatening migratory shorebird habitat have to be effectively recognized and mitigated. In order to achieve this, decision-makers and stakeholders around Australia need to be able to easily access information on the importance of sites for migratory shorebirds. The directory provides this crucial link which was not previously been available.

The Directory also provides a starting point for a more comprehensive assessment of the current state of the habitat listed, a prioritization of sites according to current or future threats experienced and more targeted conservation action. This directly addresses and supports some of the priority actions in the Australian Government’s Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds across the main objectives: protection of important habitat, anthropogenic threat minimization or elimination and knowledge gap identification. A number of high priority projects are already in the process of being implemented, the Directory makes those more effective and targeted.

The Directory is an important step towards effective migratory shorebird habitat protection around Australia. Revision of conservation and management plans for many sites may be necessary to reflect their importance. Specific site action plans detailing conservation measures to be taken for migratory shorebirds at a single site can be developed as a follow-up action. The directory thus also represents a key resource underpinning further conservation measures under Australia’s Conservation Action Plan for Migratory Shorebirds and other frameworks.

The Australian Government, which provided gratefully acknowledged funding for this scientific project delivered by BirdLife Australia, has approved of the Directory after consultations with its Committees and all Australian States and Territories. The document has been officially launched on 21 April 2021. It is available for download in *.pdf format in its latest version:

National Directory of Important Migratory Shorebird Habitat

Download the complete Directory (one file or, due to file size, chapters separately) from the download folder. It is advised to always read the Introduction and Discussion alongside the chapter you need.

Overview of chapters:

Introduction and Methods

Chapter 1 - External Territories

Chapter 2 - New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory

Chapter 3 - Northern Territory

Chapter 4 - Queensland

Chapter 5 - South Australia

Chapter 6 - Tasmania

Chapter 7 - Victoria

Chapter 8 - Western Australia

Chapter 9 - Species accounts (listing of sites by species, not by site)

Discussion and Appendices

Due to the large size of the document (1287 pages printed), there are no printed copies are available – please arrange for own printing and binding if desired.

If you have feedback on the Directory process or the Directory itself, or you have additional data to contribute to a potential future revision, please write to [email protected]
If you have other questions regarding the Directory, please contact [email protected]
For data extractions from BirdLife Australia’s  shorebird data holdings, see the Data Extractions section.

Repost from BirdLife Australia news article: (Released on: 21st April, 2021)

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