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Migratory bird network lands South Australian haven

Tourism

A NETWORK of bird sanctuaries spanning from Russia to South Australia has this week added an important link to provide migratory birds safe routes between breeding sites.

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The recently established Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary has been declared part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Network, one of nine major migratory waterbird flyways around the globe that are home to more than 50 million migratory waterbirds.

The East Asian-Australasian Flyway is one of the world’s great bird migration flight paths.

It encompasses 22 countries and is used by more than five million migratory birds a year, with 27,000 calling Adelaide’s bird sanctuary home during the Australian summer.

South Australian Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources Bird Sanctuary spokeswoman Arkellah Irving said the induction of the bird sanctuary as the 131st East Asian- Australasian Flyway Network site ensured a globally co-operative effort to conserve South Australia’s shorebirds.

“The bird sanctuary supports critical populations of globally endangered shorebirds including the Red Knot, Great Knot, Curlew Sandpiper, Bar-tailed Godwit and the Eastern Curlew,” she said.

“The Flyway Network inclusion bestows national and international recognition on the site and creates opportunities for local research and funding towards the conservation of birds.

“The bird sanctuary is the second globally significant South Australian site to be included in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Network. The first was the Coorong, Lake Alexandrina and Lake Albert site which was declared in 1996.”

The sanctuary is located along a 60km stretch of coastal mudflats, mangroves and saltmarshes from the Barker Inlet to Port Parham, just north of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, and was proclaimed a national park in October 2016.

East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partners Chief Executive Spike Millington said many of the bird sanctuary’s migratory shorebirds undertook long journeys throughout the Flyway. He said it was hoped stronger linkages would be established between the bird sanctuary and other Network sites.

“I would like to congratulate the South Australian Government for nominating the bird sanctuary and also site managers, local landowners and stakeholders for their continued efforts to raise awareness and conserve migratory waterbirds for the benefit of South Australia and the 21 other countries of the Flyway,” he said.

A meeting of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Network Partners was held in Singapore this week to officially induct the bird sanctuary into the network.

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