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Fuller RA (2023) Fact sheet – Australia’s coastal shorebirds: trends and prospects. National Environment Science Program Marine Biodiversity Hub.
BirdLife Australia National Shorebird Monitoring Program data have enabled population and conservation status assessments for key species. Determining why some species are doing better than others will be critical to prioritising conservation efforts for the next decade. This fact sheet summarises the findings of a Marine and Coastal Hub project that used 28 years of shorebird monitoring data collected by citizen science and indigenous groups from 448 important shorebird areas around Australia and curated by BirdLife Australia’s National Shorebird Monitoring Program. Population trend was estimated for 14 species. Four species were declining between 50% and 80% over their assessment period, consistent with listing as nationally Endangered. A further three were declining between 30% and 50%, warranting listing as Vulnerable. Encouragingly, the rate of decline for five species has slowed down in the past decade. These slowdowns in shorebird declines do not equate to population recovery. However, trends must stop before they can reverse, and so this study presents the first evidence of multi-species improvements in the fortunes of our shorebirds. We urge a redoubling of conservation efforts in Australia and around the flyway to capitalise on this progress towards recovery.