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Protecting shorebirds a sure thing in Spencer Gulf

News release
24 October 2016

A workshop at Port Broughton next month will help cast some light on the fascinating lives of shorebirds in Spencer Gulf.

The workshop, hosted by Natural Resources Northern and Yorke and BirdLife Australia, will be held Sunday, 6 November.

Natural Resources Northern and Yorke Community Ranger Janet Moore said over the coming summer months, more than 10,000 migratory shorebirds were expected to visit the shores of the eastern Spencer Gulf.

"A number of birds – including the sharp-tailed sandpiper and red-necked stint – fly from as far away as Siberia and Alaska, passing through 22 countries to seek out the safe beaches, claypans and undisturbed wetlands of our region," Ms Moore said.

"Sadly, these beautiful birds and their coastal habitats are under pressure globally."

Although much of the coastline is difficult to access, several counts over the past 40 years have identified the area as significant for several species, and it is now listed as an internationally Important Bird Area by BirdLife International.

BirdLife Australia manages the Shorebirds 2020 project, which aims to coordinate nationwide population monitoring to detect national trends and discover what is driving population changes.

"Many people just see shorebirds as brown birds feeding on rocks and mud, but they are remarkably diverse birds including species such as stilts, sandpipers, curlews, plovers and oystercatchers," Ms Moore said.

"Workshop participants will see these amazing birds up close, and will be provided with tips on how to identify the various species."

Ms Moore said the aim of the event was to give the local community an opportunity to come together and participate in the shorebird monitoring program for the region.

"We invite anyone who is interested in learning about these amazing birds to attend the workshop.

"The day will start with a short illustrated talk about shorebirds and how we can all help with their conservation, before we head out into the field."

Morning tea is provided. Please bring water, sunscreen, appropriate footwear for the field walk and binoculars if you have them. We will have some spare pairs of binoculars and telescopes available for close-up viewing on the beach.

If you are interested in attending the workshop, or would like further information about the monitoring program, please contact Janet Moore of Natural Resources Northern and Yorke on 0447 418 391 or Janet.Moore@sa.gov.au

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Communications Coordinator

88413444

Jessica.Henderson@sa.gov.au