Volunteers watching for curlews

Curlew Conservation Final Report

Far Eastern Curlews are the largest of all the world’s shorebirds. About 75 per cent of the world’s curlews winter in Australia, so we have a special responsibility to protect them.

From September 2017 – June 2019, Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) led a project titled Community Conservation of the Far Eastern Curlew to help protect this critically endangered species. Funds were provided by the Australian Government through the Threatened Species Recovery Fund under the National Landcare Program.

Project activities took place in 5 locations: Towra Point Nature Reserve (Sydney NSW), Moreton Bay and the Broadwater (SEQ), Hunter Estuary (Newcastle NSW), Shoalhaven Heads (Nowra NSW), and Casuarina Coastal Reserve (Darwin NT). Of these sites, two are Ramsar-listed wetlands and two are on the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

The key project achievements have been:

  • Project activities engaged 2,429 participants, of whom 549 returned more than once.
  • We restored 380 ha of saltmarsh and beach habitat, well above our target of 270 ha, eradicating Spiny Rush, Bitou Bush and other weeds that interfere with the open line-of-sight these birds need to feel safe and use roosting and feeding habitats.
  • CVA teams removed 2 tonnes of marine debris from shorebird habitat, including plastics that can cause injury and death.
  • Community awareness events offered local communities the chance to see shorebirds through scopes and learn about their ecology and migration from experts.
  • Stakeholder workshops in each location were attended by a broad range of organisations. Participants received a comprehensive report on shorebird population statistics from BirdLife Australia, and discussed strategies to improve shorebird management in their area.

You can find out more about the project and its achievements in the Final Report, which is now available to view and download at the link:

CVA Curlew Conservation Final Report