Protecting and restoring habitat for migratory shorebirds in Moreton Bay as part of the Moreton Bay Ramsar Wetland Project.
Healthy Land and Water’s Moreton Bay Shorebirds project is reducing threats to shorebirds in Moreton Bay by protecting and restoring shorebird roosting and foraging habitat within the Moreton Bay Ramsar Site and adjacent areas.
This project hopes to increase the health of migratory shorebirds visiting South East Queensland, to give them the best chance of global survival.
Actions are anticipated to benefit seven threatened migratory shorebirds: Far Eastern curlew, Curlew sandpiper, Great knot, Red knot, Greater sand plover, Lesser sand plover and Bar-tailed godwit.
About the project
- The project will implement strategies and actions to conserve roosting and feeding sites used by Moreton Bay’s migratory shorebirds.
- Priority actions are being implemented in partnership with site managers to enhance migratory shorebird habitat and reduce immediate and longer-term threats to habitat quality and extent.
- Reducing disturbance of feeding and resting migratory shorebirds by people visiting and working in and around Moreton Bay is critical, and will require behaviour change, educational campaigns, incentives and/or regulation.
Photo credit: Bob Westerman
This project is supported by Healthy Land and Water through funding from the Australian Government’s Environment Restoration Fund.
Healthy Land and Water has assessed migratory shorebird sites across coastal South East Queensland, including Moreton Bay Ramsar Site, to determine site-specific management actions required.
A University of Queensland research team, led by Professor Richard Fuller, analysed data collected by the Queensland Wader Study Group and found that threats to migratory shorebirds in Moreton Bay are contributing to their global decline and need to be addressed.
Major threats include human disturbance, coastal development and climate change.
This project is implementing recommendations in the ‘Managing Threats to Migratory Shorebirds in Moreton Bay’ (Fuller et al. 2021) report.
Why this project is important
Over 35,000 migratory shorebirds visit Moreton Bay each year and many have travelled tens of thousands of kilometres, some from as far as Siberia and Alaska. The availability of food and rest for migratory shorebirds in Moreton Bay and every stage of their global journey is critical.
Research by the University of Queensland and the Queensland Wader Study Group shows migratory shorebirds and their habitats are unfortunately in decline in Moreton Bay. Migratory shorebirds like the critically endangered Far Eastern Curlew have experienced population decline of more than 80% over the past 30 years.
Habitat loss along the birds’ migration routes, such as in the Yellow Sea, is a major cause of the declines, but recent analyses have confirmed that threats in Moreton Bay play an additional role. Local action to reduce threats is needed in addition to actions overseas.