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ShoreBirds 2020 Project

Napranum rangers and NAILSMA staff recording shorebirds with the I-Tracker application at Pennefather Beach QLD


NAILSMA, BirdLife Australia and Indigenous ranger groups in the Gulf of Carpentaria are involved in an exciting collaborative project to monitor shorebirds in the region utilising I-Tracker tools.

Migratory shorebirds are one of nature's great wonders and are sensitive indicators of the quality of wetlands. Other shorebirds are resident in Australia and have important breeding areas on beaches in north Australia. However, despite national and international protection, shorebirds are declining.

Migratory shorebird aggregation at Skardon Beach near Mapoon Queensland

The Gulf of Carpentaria region is the third largest shorebird aggregation site in Australia, however accessible data on numbers of shorebirds in the region is incredibly sparse. Indigenous Ranger programs are uniquely placed through their skills, traditional knowledge, and access to country to make a major contribution to the collective research knowledge about shorebirds, their status and migration routes in Australia.

BirdLife Australia’s Shorebirds 2020 project is a nationwide community engagement program that aims to facilitate the monitoring and conservation of shorebird populations in Australia

The objective of the project is to build the capacity for Indigenous Land and Sea managers to engage in active shorebird monitoring and environmental management for shorebird conservation. Collabortive efforts will include:

  • Developing tools for standardised, science-based shorebird monitoring that suit Indigenous Land and Sea Ranger groups, including development of an I-Tracker application for shorebird counts and identification
  • On-country training workshops with Indigenous ranger groups and community members that support the uptake of standard monitoring methods and implementation of local management plans
  • Trialling and refining this program with pilot groups in the Gulf of Carpentaria with a view to making I-Tracker and other training tools relating to shorebirds available to other Indigenous groups in future
  • Implementing best practice models of research partnerships that facilitate cross-cultural understandings of biodiversity management

Visit the ShoreBirds 2020 website