Conservation Volunteers Australia has been awarded a grant for Community Conservation of Eastern Curlew under the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Recovery Fund. The project will restore key habitats, reduce human disturbance and promote best practice at priority sites from Darwin to Wollongong. It will be a 2- year project completed in June 2019.
This is a partnership project led by Conservation Volunteers Australia with BirdLife Australia, land managers and local communities. The team will restore 10 Eastern Curlew sites at 5 locations with significant Curlew populations: Shoalhaven Estuary, Quibray Bay at Towra Point, Ash island in the Hunter Estuary, Hays Inlet Moreton Bay and Casuarina Coastal Reserve in Darwin. The project will address 2 key threats: habitat degradation & human disturbance.
CVA’s mission is to inspire change by connecting people with nature. Community volunteer teams will be engaged to improve priority habitat by controlling weeds, removing mangroves under license, clearing marine debris, revegetating saltmarsh buffers and closing unauthorised access.
“Eastern Curlew is such an easy bird to love,” says Project Manager Louise Duff. “They’re big, unmistakable and easy to spot and identify. The story of their epic journey from Siberia each year captures people’s imagination.” Ms Duff is looking forward to running community events at each location to educate beach users to appreciate and stay clear of these critically endangered long-haul fliers.
BirdLife Australia will be the Science Partner, providing monitoring and technical advice with support from the Australasian Wader Study Group and Shorebird 2020 program. “Community monitoring groups are the backbone of shorebird conservation,” said Ms. Duff. “The data they provide helped us prioritise the best sites for the project.” We look forward to working with the local groups and engaging new volunteers in monitoring surveys for Eastern Curlew. Midway through the project, CVA and BLA will host local stakeholder workshops to provide land managers with the latest research and data to inform decision making and land-use planning.
Ms. Duff recently spent a week working at the East Asian Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) in Incheon, South Korea. “The project team will be preparing guidelines on community conservation of shorebird sites. The EAAFP will help make the guidelines relevant flyway-wide and disseminate them through their communication channels.” The EAAFP has an Eastern Curlew Task Force, with an Action Plan towards which this directly contributes.
Community Conservation of Far Eastern Curlew will contribute to the shorebird conservation targets of CVA’s Revive Our Wetlands Program. It aligns with BLA’s forthcoming Conservation Action Plan for shorebirds and will help achieve the Australian Government’s policy commitment to reverse the decline of threatened species.
For more information contact Louise Duff, Program Manager – Wetlands Catchments Coasts at Conservation Volunteers Australia via email: [email protected].
Photos: Far Eastern Curlew ©Eugene Cheah/EAAFP