There is increasing evidence that migratory shorebird populations throughout the world are declining. Shorebirds using the flyways of the Asia Pacific are under threat from widespread habitat destruction, especially prevalent at staging areas in East Asia.
Being at the southern end of the migration routes, Australia is uniquely placed to assess the impacts of these threats on shorebird numbers. A major program is underway at BirdLife Australia titled ‘Shorebirds 2020’. The program is designed to reinvigorate and coordinate national shorebird monitoring in Australia and is a collaborative enterprise between BirdLife Australia and AWSG, through funding from the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country and WWF-Australia.
Over the last year the Shorebirds 2020 team have been developing a monitoring program for shorebirds in Australia that will allow us to detect national population trends, mapping important shorebirds areas, and putting together a shorebird counters toolkit online. The main recommendation to come out of this work so far is that we need to count shorebirds at more sites – around 150 – in order to be able to detect population trends at the national level for the majority of shorebird species. For more information visit the Shorebirds 2020 site.
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