Conservation of Migratory Shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway
Environment Australia and Wetlands International, 2002
The need for international cooperation
Migratory shorebirds are dependent on a number of highly productive wetlands along the Flyway. They are most vulnerable during migration.
Staging sites provide a chance for migratory birds to rest and eat enough food to continue their journey, so protection of these chains of wetlands is paramount. If adequate food no longer exists at a site it will delay or prevent further flight. Unfortunately, migratory birds cannot afford delays when flying north to breed. Although the northern summer provides the best breeding conditions, it is also relatively short, and the birds must hatch their young and leave before the weather turns.
It is essential that all wetlands that migratory birds use are conserved in all countries.
Conservation efforts in one country can only be effective if they are complemented by actions in all countries through which the birds move during their annual cycle.
Migratory birds require protection for all three phases of their annual life cycle: breeding, migration and non-breeding.
Conservation in action
The Shorebird Action Plan: 2001-2005 has been developed under the Asia Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005. It identifies key priority actions needed to continue the immense task of ensuring the long-term conservation of migratory shorebirds and their habitats in the Asia Pacific region. Three important themes of the Plan are:
- development of the East Asian-Australasian Shorebird Site Network;
- appropriate management of Network sites; and
- increasing the information base on migratory shorebirds.
Shorebird Network Sites at June 2002
The East Asian- Australasian Shorebird Site Network
The Network is an international cooperative effort supported by government and non-government organisations, wetland managers and the community at each site. The Network promotes the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands that shorebirds use during their annual migratory flights.
How sites are added to the Network
Wetlands that support 20,000 or more shorebirds or 1% of the Flyway population of a migratory shorebird species or sub-species, are eligible to join. Site managers in the region develop new site proposals for addition to the Network and obtain endorsement from their governments. As at June 2002, 31 sites had been nominated to the Network by the following countries: Russian Federation, Japan, China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Singapore and Papua New Guinea.
For further information please contact:
Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Ph: (02) 6274 2393 Fax: (02) 6274 1741
The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts supports the activities of Wetlands International in promoting the Asia Pacific Migratory Waterbird Conservation Strategy: 2001-2005 and the Shorebird Action Plan: 2001-2005.
Their contact details are:
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Ph: (02) 6274 2780