Eight waders added to Australia's endangered list


Eight species of wader have been uplisted to vulnerable or endangered on Australia's list of threatened wildlife.

The species in question are Black-tailed Godwit and Bar-tailed Godwit and Greenshank (uplisted to Endangered, and Ruddy Turnstone, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, Latham's Snipe, Asian Dowitcher, Grey Plover and Terek Sandpiper (uplisted to Vulnerable). 

Greenshank is now considered endangered in Australia (Richard Mills).

While there was no formal announcement by the government, indications the shorebird species were about to be listed came in December when Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek issued a press release about another issue – the government's fight against the illegal wildlife trade.

Jess Abrahams, from Australian Conservation Foundation, said: "There are birds that have gone straight to the endangered list. Greenshank has declined up to 60% in three generations, and Black-tailed Godwit 52-77%. That's a huge loss over a short period of time."

Pressures on the eight species are global. These birds make several essential feeding stops along the flyways to fuel their migrations between breeding and wintering grounds, and destruction of habitat both in Australia and overseas has impacted survival rates.

It wasn't all bad news for Australia's migratory waders, though, with both Great Knot and Red Knot downlisted.