On 15th of May, the Australian Government celebrated World Migratory Bird Day by hosting a special lunchtime presentation in Canberra from Dr. Richard Fuller of the University of Queensland. Dr. Fuller presented results from research (partly funded by the Australian Government through an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant) that confirmed rapid declines in Australia’s migratory bird populations, appearing mainly as a result of loss of key migration stopover habitat, which is likely to be further exacerbated by climate change effects such as sea level rise. He indicated that investment in sea level rise adaptation is likely to be needed in very specific places such as the Yellow Sea and north-east Australia and that international collaboration is of vital importance to target conservation in specific areas along the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. The Australian Government continues to play a role in this international collaboration though the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership and through bilateral agreements with Japan, China and the Republic of Korea. The results of Dr Fuller’s work will help all countries in the flyway direct investment to critically important sites for migratory shorebirds and enhance collaboration to reduce further decline in shorebird populations.
Reported by Paul O’Neil from Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population & Communities