The East Asian-Australasian shorebird site network

Shorebirds

Shorebirds are among the most impressive migrant waterbirds in the world and can be found in shallow water at both coastal and inland wetlands. They include plovers, sandpipers, curlews and snipe.

Migratory shorebirds use the summers of both southern and northern hemispheres to conduct their life cycle. During their non-breeding phase they inhabit the southern hemisphere in flocks, arriving in Australia in October and feeding mainly on small creatures living in mudflats. In April, these birds fly from their Australian feeding grounds to breed in the tundra areas of the northern hemisphere, such as the Russian Far East and Alaska. They nest on the ground, with their brown and russet breeding plumage providing camouflage against predators.

The East Asian - Australasian shorebird site network

Prior to the recent formation of the East Asian–Australasian Flyway Partnership and its Flyway Site Network, a program was launched in March 1996 in response to the need for international action to protect migratory shorebirds along the East Asian - Australasian Flyway. The East Asian - Australasian shorebird site network linked wetlands that are internationally important for shorebirds.

The shorebird site network played an important role in highlighting the importance of wetland areas for shorebirds and promoted activities for their conservation. The network encouraged site managers to establish a local advisory or liaison group and develop management plans, which helped gain support for the management of these sites for conservation. The network also helped site owners, managers, local people and participating organisations to gain international recognition and support for their site and their conservation efforts.

The network was an international cooperative effort supported by both governments and non-government organisations.  The 31 sites that joined the network across 10 countries have since been transferred to the new East Asian-Australasian Flyway Site Network, which will continue to support this important conservation effort well into the future.

For further information, please contact the Interim Secretariat to the Flyway Partnership:

Vicki Cronan
Marine Division
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

Email: vicki.cronan@environment.gov.au