Shorebird Conservation

Eastern_Curlew_2.JPGConserving the Future of Burnett Mary’s Shorebirds

In 2005, funded through WWF Australia, Queensland Wader Study Group undertook the first comprehensive shorebird survey of high tide roosts in the Great Sandy Strait.  Their survey resulted in several products, a comprehensive report, map and fact sheet and guideline for local planners, highlighting the need for buffer zones and conditions to manage local shorebird communities.

Following the success of this project, the BMRG commissioned Queensland Wader Study Group to undertake a broader survey (conducted over two years) of both high tide roosts and nesting habitat for both resident and migratory shorebird from Tin Can Bay to Tannum Sands (and including the offshore islands).  Their report, Shorebirds of the Burnett Coast: surveys of critical high tide roosts (by David Milton and Sandra Harding) was released in June 2007, is probably one of the BMRG’s most downloaded reports of all time. 

Interested in actions that our community could undertake to protect and conserve shorebirds, the BMRG worked with Central Queensland University on a research project called Feathering the Future of Burnett Mary Shorebirds (Tamara van Polanen Petel and Ashley Bunce, 2008) which monitored the effectiveness of interventions such as reducing human disturbance and predation as well as increasing awareness through activities such as Temporary Beach Closures.

Funded through the Australian Government’s Community Coastcare program, BMRG then delivered a further round of Feathering the Future activities focusing on both permanent and temporary signage, a range of tools including messaged dog leads and dog walkers’ breakfasts and a postcard competition for local schools.  This project was greatly enhanced through the appointment (and recognition) of shorebird ambassadors who assisted at events and continue to promote the cause of shorebirds throughout our region. 

In 2010, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service released the Management Strategy Shorebirds: Great Sandy Marine Park which aimed to recommend on-ground management actions that address threats to the protection of shorebirds and their habitat, promote awareness of the importance of the Great Sandy Region for the conservation of shorebirds and their habitat and provide key action and outcomes to measure performance over time.

BMRG continues to support shorebird initiatives including providing temporary beach closure signs (for both nesting and migrating shorebirds) and conducting monthly shorebird counts in conjunction with Birdlife Bundaberg and Gladstone Ports Corporation. 

For more information about shorebird initiatives please email or call (07) 4181 2999.