Victoria Wader Study Group Far Eastern Curlew Project
Research in Brief
The Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis has experienced one of the most acute declines of any Australian shorebird species. Currently little is known about its exact feeding and roosting habitat requirements. While coastal development can negatively impact populations, it is known to use some artificial habitat for roosting. This project will provide the knowledge needed to develop strategic guidelines for far eastern curlew conservation in the context of potential development and associated offsetting.
Why is the research needed?
The Far Eastern Curlew is one of the largest migratory shorebirds in the world. It has experienced one of the most acute declines of any Australian shorebird species: a 5.8 % annual rate of decline; if this trend persists, the global population will fall to 10% of its 1993 abundance by 2035. It is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and Critically Endangered under Australia’s EPBC Act.
It is endemic to the East Asian-Australasian Flyway and is heavily impacted by mudflat loss and degradation in north-east Asia. Loss of habitat in this region can make birds more sensitive to impacts in other regions of the flyway, such as Australia.
Around three-quarters of the population is estimated to spend the non-breeding season in Australia, where it is impacted by coastal development and disturbance. Very little is known about the exact habitat requirements of far eastern curlew at non-breeding sites, making it extremely difficult to provide appropriate guidance on development proposals affecting far eastern curlew habitat.
For more information contact Amanda Lilleyman – Amanda.Lilleyman@cdu.edu.au or visit Strategic Planning for the Far Eastern Curlew
VWSG – Satellite tagging of Far Eastern Curlew 2019
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