CIE Spotlight: What does the future hold for shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway?

Kate B.Title: What does the future hold for shorebirds in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway?

Authors: Szabo, Judit K.; Battley, Phil F.; Buchanan, Katherine L.; Rogers, Danny I.

Source: EMU, 116 (2):95-99, 2016

Brief summary of the paper: Long-distance migratory shorebirds around the world are in trouble (International Wader Study Group 2003) and, although alarming rates of decline have been reported from the American (Morrison et al. 2004) and European Flyways (van der Vlietet al. 2015), some of the steepest and most widespread declines are seen in the East Asian–Australasian Flyway (EAAF) (Amano et al. 2010).

The EAAF encompasses 22 countries from the high Arctic to Australia and New Zealand. Some shorebirds cover the entire length of the Flyway, completing a 30 000-km round-trip migration every year. Management of the EAAF is hugely challenging, with vast human pressure on habitats and resources in individual countries combining to degrade the migratory landscape for birds on the move. This is especially true around the Yellow Sea region of East Asia (MacKinnon et al. 2012).