Darwin shorebird catching expedition report 2018

Date: 01, Nov, 2020
Author(s):   Lilleyman, A., Maglio, G., Bush, R., Jessop, R., Wright, P., Minton, C.D.T.
Publisher: Stilt

Shorebird expeditions have been run in the Northern Territory sporadically since 1995 and have focussed on birds from five sites along the Top End coastline. Over the years, there has been 2510 shorebirds caught from 19 species from a combination of cannon netting and mist netting. From 2014 onwards, we applied engraved leg-flags to shorebirds and this has allowed for a more detailed understanding of site fidelity on the non-breeding grounds and migration pathway connectivity. Since that time, there has been more than 3403 leg-flag resightings from six countries in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway. In 2018, the objective of the expedition was to capture the critically endangered Far Eastern Curlew Numenius madagascariensis to attach GPS tracking devices to birds to learn about their local movements on the non-breeding grounds of Australia. One GPS tag was deployed on a Curlew during this expedition. Shorebird catching expeditions allow researchers to collect useful data on age demographics within populations, and to target species for more detailed studies such as those on movements of birds.