Protecting our golden birds

Protecting our golden birds

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Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis), Flickr (Changhua Conservation Action)

A lot of us take to air travel to explore parts of the northern hemisphere, but can you imagine if you made this trip every year where the only engine available was your own?

Many people hardly give waders a second glance, but these migratory birds travel up to 13 000 km every year between northern and southern hemispheres to breed and find food, well and truly earning a lifetime of frequent flyer points.

State Member Verity Barton and Shorebird project partners

On Monday, the first of what is hoped will be many educational signs, was unveiled at the boat ramp on Marine Parade, Labrador, Gold Coast, by State Member Verity Barton and project partners.

The Gold Coast Broadwater has a large population of migratory waders such as Eastern Curlew’s. These birds are loyal to their roost sites such as sandbanks, often returning to the same roost site year after year.

Unlike other birds that roost close to the ocean, shorebirds don’t have webbed feet, which makes them poor swimmers, however excellent flyers. 

Project Coordinator from SEQ Catchments, Linda Durham, believes that education is an important first step.

“Growing urbanisation has placed increased pressure on shorebirds and their habitat. Having safe roosting sights free from predators and disturbances is key.” said Linda.

“Even dogs off leashes can scare these birds and put them into flight unnecessarily, causing them to waste vulnerable energy that they require for their onward journey."

“Just a few simple changes, such as keeping your dog on a leash, can be a big change. We hope these signs are both informative and interesting to read.”

Funded by the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country program, SEQ Catchments, Birdlife Australia, Queensland Waders and Study Group, Gold Coast City Council and Friends of Federation Walk, have been working to increase awareness about the importance of shorebirds and ways to minimise their disturbance.

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