Marine and Freshwater Research Marine and Freshwater Research Society
Advances in the aquatic sciences
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Challenges faced by shorebird species using the inland wetlands of the East Asian–Australasian Flyway: the little curlew example

M. Bellio A E , C. Minton B and I. Veltheim C D

A Institute for Land Water and Society, Charles Sturt University, PO Box 789, Albury, NSW 2640, Australia.

B Australasian Wader Studies Group (AWSG), 165 Dalgetty Road, Beaumaris, Vic. 3191, Australia.

C School of Applied and Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, Federation University Australia, PO Box 663, Vic. 3353, Australia.

D School of BioSciences, The University of Melbourne, Vic. 3010, Australia.

E Corresponding author. Email: mbellio@csu.edu.au

Marine and Freshwater Research - https://doi.org/10.1071/MF15240
Submitted: 23 June 2015  Accepted: 17 August 2016   Published online: 3 October 2016

Abstract

Asia is experiencing an alarming rate of inland wetlands loss, posing a risk to the future long-term survival of many species depending on these ecosystems. This review on the status and conservation of the little curlew (Numenius minutus) aims to draw attention to the conservation challenges faced by migratory shorebird species using the inland wetlands of the East Asian–Australasian Flyway (EAAF). Extensive and systematic research survey efforts along the EAAF have focused on species using coastal and tidal areas rather than on species using inland wetlands. Knowledge gaps include functional ecology and physiological responses to quality of food resources, population trends, migratory strategy and the role species play in supporting ecosystems resilience. Studies using remote sensing and geographic information system techniques to track the movements of birds along the flyway and to map habitat condition will prove essential in the future to allow a better understanding of the dynamics occurring at the stopover areas, how birds use resources and what competition pressures exist among species. Ultimately, these studies will contribute to our ability to predict changes and establish management practices for the long-term protection and conservation of the stopover areas for a suite of shorebird species using inland wetlands along the flyway.

Additional keywords: freshwater wetlands, Numeniini, shorebird conservation.


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