The amazing migration of shorebirds between Siberia and Tasmania, and the options
for protecting their critical habitats along their migration routes are two of the focal
themes for a conference in Hobart this weekend.
The Australasian Shorebird Conference has drawn delegates from around Australia
and New Zealand, and as far as China, to meet and discuss these remarkable birds.
These conferences are held biennially, providing researchers, students and
community members the chance to meet and discuss latest research findings,
community surveys and collaborate to protect the birds and their habitats.
Dr Eric Woehler, Convenor of BirdLife Tasmania who is hosting the conference,
welcomed delegates to Hobart.
“Hobart is at the end of this remarkable migration corridor between Siberia and Arctic
regions of North America that is used by millions of shorebirds each year” he said.
“These birds fly approximately 25,000km each year on their migration” he added.
“Long-term monitoring studies around Australia have shown decreases of more than
90% in some species since the 1970s or 1980s.”
“Tasmania acts as an early indicator of what is to happen in the future for the birds
using this migration corridor” he added.
“Recent advances in technology now allow us to track these birds on migration using
the same GPS technology in our phones and cars, and we can see how these birds,
some weighing just 25g, survive the journey year after year.”
“In some cases, birds are able to fly 8000km non-stop before they need to land and
feed before continuing” Dr Woehler said.
Other speakers will look at options being used to restore critical feeding habitats and
the efforts underway in Australia to identify and conserve shorebird habitats
The conference will also hear from two artists who are using their art to engage with
and educate the broader community about shorebirds in Australia.
Icebreaker/reception at the Overwintering Exhibition at the Moonah Arts Centre, 27
Albert Road at 6pm 26 Oct. More than 100 pieces of art depicting shorebirds are on
display. Media are welcome
Conference is at the Life Sciences Lecture Theatre 1
©Eric Woehler, BirdLife Tasmania