Australia: Port Curtis Studies Indicate Significant Numbers of Migratory Shorebirds
Initial studies in Port Curtis indicate internationally significant numbers of migratory shorebirds in the Gladstone region.
In a first for the Capricorn Coast, detailed monitoring of migratory shorebirds from Port Curtis to Port Alma has been conducted with initial studies indicating a healthy ecosystem with a number of “high priority” sites.
“We have found some internationally significant populations of migratory shorebirds in the Port Curtis region,” Ecologist Dr David Rohweder from Sandpiper Ecological Surveys said.
“North Curtis Island and the Fitzroy estuary stand out in the study area as high priority sites for migratory shorebirds.
“A site of international significance is a site that contains greater than one per cent of the known flyaway population. The study area includes several species that exceed one per cent of the known population.”
The Migratory Shorebird Monitoring study is part of the conditions approval for the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project and is related to the development of an Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Program (ERMP), which is required to be implemented for a period of no less than 10 years in the Gladstone region.
Sandpiper Ecological Surveys have been commissioned to undertake the migratory shorebirds study.
“The study area is new information as our first surveys were conducted in January 2011, but what it is saying is the study area is an important area for shorebirds,” Dr Rohweder said.
“The purpose of the surveys is to gather information on the abundance and diversity of migratory shorebirds in the Capricorn Coast region and to get a handle on how important that area is for shorebirds.”
Gladstone Port’s Corporation CEO Leo Zussino said the study indicates the environmental conditions implemented for the Western Basin Dredging and Disposal Project in the Gladstone harbour are working.
“GPC is committed to carrying out the project with minimal impact to the environment and this study confirms we are moving in the right direction.” Mr Zussino said.
Dredging Today Staff, April 4, 2012; Image: westernbasinportdevelopment