Helen Macpherson Smith Trust

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Case Study: BirdLife Australia

ProjectDeveloping Site Action Plans for Priority Migratory Shorebird Habitat in Victoria

Amount$88,550 over two years


ProgramPast Programs | Environment

Rural and regional Victoria Initiating workshops and development of site action plans with rural communities in Victoria to enable opportunities for community involvement in shorebird conservation
Enabling financial sustainability Implementing site action plans will provide activities to help leverage philanthropic support from BirdLife’s extensive supporter network. Community and land manager engagement will facilitate in-kind contributions for implementation of action plans
Building organisational capacity Building the capacity and expertise of land managers across different land tenures and communities in the management and sustainable use of wetlands across Victoria
Collaboration and partnership Catchment Management Authorities, local councils, community groups and other land managers across Victoria

Working collaboratively with community in a coordinated approach to manage and protect migratory shorebirds that regularly visit Australia

Coastal wetland habitats for shorebirds are under increasing pressure due to human activity. BirdLife Australia will build partnerships with land managers and communities in Victoria to ensure the management of nationally and internationally significant sites incorporate the conservation needs of migratory shorebirds.

Image A Curlew Sandpiper. Weighing in at only 57gm, these small birds traverse the world. The breeding range of the Curlew Sandpiper is mainly restricted to the Arctic of northern Siberia. During the non-breeding season, they are can be found in Victoria around our coastal bays and inlets, near-coastal wetlands, and inland in suitable habitats such as the Kerang area, Mildura, and Western districts. Photo courtesy Birdlife Australia.

Many land managers lack the resources, expertise or community support to manage sites for the 37 species of migratory shorebirds that visit our coastline. There is also a general lack of community awareness about the conservation needs of migratory shorebirds and the impacts of human activities on their habitats. Development of site action plans will include opportunities for community involvement in shorebird conservation and monitoring, as well as provide expert advice for land managers to address challenges and threats.


Six internationally significant priority sites have been identified in Victoria across rural and urban areas.

Activities include:

  • Meetings with land managers to identify current management practices and challenges relevant to migratory shorebirds
  • Community workshops to discuss human use of site and opportunities to mitigate human disturbance to shorebirds
  • Shorebird identification and monitoring workshops to recruit and up-skill volunteers in shorebird monitoring at the priority sites
  • A State-wide symposium with land managers to facilitate collaboration and learning between significant sites


Uploaded 24 September 2018

"...a valuable contribution to ensuring important habitat for migratory shorebirds is managed in a way that maintains or improves habitat quality for these species, while also taking into careful consideration other land values and local community use of these sites." Stuart Willsher, Parks Victoria