Apr 26 2012
Researchers on 80 Mile Beach WA say numbers of migratory shorebirds visiting Australia’s west coast this year is worryingly low and development in China could be to blame.
Each year millions of birds make a stopover in China during their journey from Australia to breeding grounds in Artic Siberia.
Ornithologist, Dr Clive Minton, has been studying migratory birds at the 80 mile beach south of Broome for over 30 years, says the loss of habitat in parts of Asia is causing a major drop in numbers visiting Australia.
“Due to development in China and particularly industrial development, very large areas of inter-tidal mud flats around the Yellow Sea have been reclaimed at an ever-increasing rate and that’s taken away vital feeding habitats for these birds,” he said.
“So they’re not able to stop and get the food they need to make their journey as successfully as they’ve done in the past and even in some cases to survive the journey at all.
“So we’re seeing major reductions in many species, particularly the Great Knot and Red Knot, the Curlew Sandpiper and several other species.”
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