Shorebirds are commonly distinguished by their long beaks and equally long legs and at Port Phillip Bay there are three species used by scientists as indicators for the health of shorebirds more generally in the bay:
- red-necked stint
- curlew sandpiper
- sharp-tailed sandpiper.
An indicator species gives scientists a measure of the habitat the particular species lives in.
Western Port is renowned for its high biodiversity, particularly a high count of waterfowl.
To conclude, there’s an update on the beloved little penguin colonies on Phillip Island and at St Kilda.
If you care about shorebirds you can help understand why the birds are in decline, by joining in BirdLife Australia’s monitoring program.
BirdLife Australia’s Shorebirds 2020 Program conducts annual counts at over 150 key shorebird areas, including the bays, in order to determine national population trends.
New sites will mean better data but that also means more volunteers.
You don’t need a camera, just a passion for the science of wildlife protection.
As sea levels rise, mudflats and other intertidal habitats are under water for longer. That means less time for the shorebirds to feed.