Feathers, flyways and fast food

Original by Dr Margaret Rowe, 2002
Last revised by the Department of the Environment and Heritage, December 2004
ISBN 0 6425 4820 X

Actions being taken to protect shorebirds and their habitat

It is important that all countries in the flyway take responsibility for protecting shorebird breeding and wintering grounds and stopover sites. Australia is involved in several (formal and informal) international agreements aimed at protecting migratory shorebirds and their habitats. These include the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA), the China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA), the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (the Bonn Convention), the Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (the Ramsar Convention) and the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy.

Find out more about these agreements:

Ramsar Convention, CAMBA, JAMBA and the Asia-Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy at the Environment Australia website: http://www.environment.gov.au/water/environmental/wetlands/index.html.

Find out where the important wetlands are, in Australia, and whether you live near any of them:

Directory of Important Australian Wetlands http://www.environment.gov.au/water/environmental/wetlands/index.html.

The Commonwealth of Australia has laws and policies to protect important wetlands and species that are under threat. For example, the Federal Government administers the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, which protects important sites for migratory shorebirds from damage that could result from unconsidered development. Find out more about this Act at: http://www.environment.gov.au/epbc/index.html.

Asia-Pacific migratory waterbird strategy and the shorebird action plan

Conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats (largely wetlands) in the Asia-Pacific region has been promoted through the Asia- Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy. The strategy is an international cooperative initiative, with core support from the governments of Australia and Japan and is coordinated by Wetlands International.

Implementation of the strategy has been largely dependent on the capacity of governments, conventions, non-government organisations (NGOs), technical experts, local communities and others and their ability to work cooperatively to implement actions to achieve the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their habitats.

Based on the successes of the strategy during the first five years, a second strategy: 2001-2005 and three action plans for species-groups (ducks, swans, geese, cranes and shorebirds) have been developed; the main mechanism for implementing these action plans is through species site networks.The action plans provide an international framework further to promote the conservation of migratory waterbirds and their wetland habitats in the Asia-Pacific into the 21st century.

The East Asian-Australasian shorebird site network

The East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network comprises wetlands that are very important sites for migratory shorebirds in the flyway.The managers of the sites in the network highlight the importance of wetland areas for shorebirds and promote activities to conserve these areas.

The sites include breeding grounds, stopover sites where birds call in to feed during their migrations, and wintering grounds in the southern hemisphere, where birds find the food and space to live during the warmer months in the south.

Countries can nominate suitable sites to be added to the network.

A map indicating the sites in the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network may be viewed on the Environment Australia website: http://www.ea.gov.au/water/wetlands/mwp.

The East Asian-Australasian shorebird site network-education project

The Yatsu Higata Nature Observation Center is located in Japan, in Narashino City on Tokyo Bay.The center is beside one of the sites in the Network. The staff of the center have begun a project to link schools that are located near sites throughout the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network. Schools are encouraged to share observations and information about their sites.

Australian schools located near the sites are encouraged to contact the Yatsu Higata Nature Observation Center. The website: http://www.city.narashino.chiba.jp/~yatsu-tf .