Update on Yandina Creek Wetlands

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: Update on Yandina Creek Wetlands
From: "Greg Roberts" <>
Date: Sat, 11 Apr 2015 11:26:06 +1000

         The recent discovery of large numbers of Latham's Snipe at the
Yandina Creek Wetlands on the Sunshine Coast adds significantly to the
case for conserving this area and increases pressure on the federal
Government to

         ensure that Commonwealth environmental protection laws to protect
signiicant sites for migratory shorebirds are complied with. The
owners of the 200-hawetlands plan to drain them for the development of
cattle pasture. A 

        March 27 survey of the wetlands counted 85 Latham's Snipe from
areas that were accessible. Some landowners have banned entry to much
of the habitat and it was estimated conservatively that a total of
120-150 snipe were

         present   at the site.  Large concentrations of snipe were seen
in the area at this time of year also in 2013 and 2014, suggesting it
is an important staging point for the species as it prepares for its
long northward migration.

         Substantial numbers of Latham's Snipe (20-30) are present at the
wetlands throughout the season (September-April).

According to Australian Government guidelines, principles agreed by
the Ramsar Convention state that a wetland should be considered
internationally important if it regularly supports one percent of the
individuals in a 

        population of one species. The estimated population of the species
during its annual migration to Australia is 15,000. With one percent
amounting to 150 birds, Yandina Creek may be an internationally
important site.  The

        guidelines indicate that a site is a nationally important habitat if
it supports at least 0.1 percent of the flyway population of any
migratory shorebird species. The number of Latham's Snipe in the
wetlands exceeds this number

         (about 15) throughout the season, and exceeds it by a substantial
factor during the autumn staging period. Numbers of Sharp-tailed
Sandpiper and Pacific Golden Plover at the site are sometimes large
and may also exceed

         at least 0.1 per cent of the flyway populations. 

        To his credit, the federal Environment Minister,  Greg Hunt, has
written to the landholders of the Yandina Creek Wetlands, advising
them of their obligations under Commonwealth law. A proposal is
presently before the

         Sunshine Coast Council to acquire the wetlands for a reserve.
However, the landholders have restated their intention to proceed with
plans to drain the wetlands.

        The full case for protecting the wetlands, including advice about
what people can do to help boost this campaign, can be found here:


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