Learning more about threatened shorebirds in Botany Bay

Volunteers regularly count an amazing array of shorebirds next door to Sydney’s busiest airport.

Little tern (Sterna albifrons) with chicks

Right next door to Australia’s busiest airport, NSW Waders Study Group volunteers have been regularly counting an amazing range of local and migratory shorebirds to determine long-term population trends since 2001. Under Saving our Species, Botany Bay has been identified as an important habitat for the shorebirds, as it is a breeding area for the threatened migratory little tern and resident pied oystercatcher.

The volunteer program provides invaluable data for shared wildlife databases such as Birdlife Australia’s Birdata Atlas and helps OEH to identify important roosting sites and actions needed to lessen the impacts of human and predator threats on these vulnerable birds.

It is important that they get the space to feed and roost, especially as some of the migratory birds travel more than 11,000 km non-stop on only 300 grams of fat.

This video, 'Making space for shorebirds', introduces the dedicated team of people from the NSW Wader Study Group Shorebird Monitoring Program who are watching for trends in population and changes in habitat use of the shorebirds in Botany Bay.