Technical report

File type: PDF

Rogers A, Fuller RA and Amano T (2023) Australia’s migratory shorebirds: trends and prospects. Report to the National Environmental Science Program. University of Queensland, Brisbane.

September 2023


This research report presents evidence that many of Australia’s migratory shorebird species are still declining rapidly. However, the declines in some species are starting to level out, most notably for the Critically Endangered Eastern Curlew. This deceleration does not yet signal population recovery, but trends must stop before they can reverse, and so this study presents the first evidence for decades of an improving threat status for shorebirds. We don’t yet know why the populations are stabilising, but it is potentially linked to intensified conservation action around the Flyway in recent years. The findings of this work support decision-making by the Department of Climate Change, Energy in relation to the reassessment of the threat status of migratory shorebirds by the Threatened Species Scientific Subcommittee, and the new iteration of the Wildlife Conservation Plan for Migratory Shorebirds. The information is also of interest to state government agencies, BirdLife Australia, wader study groups and the general public. It supports on-ground action across Australia through the National Migratory Shorebird Conservation Action Plan.