About the project


Migratory shorebirds are protected by a number of international conservation agreements and are treated as matters of national significance under the EPBC Act 1999. The tidal flats of Eighty Mile Beach and Roebuck Bay support the largest non-breeding populations of migratory shorebirds in Australia and the East Asian – Australasian flyway. Both sites are recognised as Wetlands of International Significance under the Ramsar Convention, and were recently listed as marine parks.

Migratory shorebirds are key performance indicators for both the Eighty Mile Beach Marine Park and Roebuck Bay Marine Park.This study adds to our existing knowledge of shorebird population trends at these sites and assesses the importance of some local pressures.


  • Collect data on shorebird population numbers and trends at Roebuck Bay and Eighty Mile Beach
  • Study local pressures on shorebird populations such as roost disturbance and provide recommendations
  • Assess the impacts of international habitat loss on shorebirds in Roebuck Bay and Eighty Mile Beach compared to local pressures


  • Surveys at high tide to count shorebirds of Roebuck Bay (including Bush Point) and the northern 80km of Eighty Mile Beach to species level by an experienced team of professional and volunteer shorebird experts. Surveys will be repeated at sites.


  • Better overall knowledge of which shorebirds are visiting these areas
  • A knowledge base that will allow monitoring of shorebirds into the future determine when populations are declining and management intervention may be needed
  • Recognition that continued monitoring of shorebird populations in northwestern Australia is essential to continue to inform management of both local and international pressures.
  • Effective and efficient monitoring methods that can be conducted over the long-term have been recommended, including estimating adult survival and recruitment of immature birds as sell as general counts.

Project News

Kimberley coastline key to monitoring shorebird decline


Shorebirds Monitoring in northwestern Australia (2015 WAMSI Research Conference)


Program: Kimberley Marine Research

Completed: September 2017

Location: Yawuru Nagulagan/Roebuck Bay Marine Park and 80 Mile Beach Marine Park

Project Leader: Danny Rogers, AWSG

Phone: (03) 9710 1345


Final Report