Protecting coastal wetland habitat for migratory shorebirds: Is australian law doing enough?

Evan Hamman, Revel Pointon, Jemma Purandare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Every year, thousands of migratory shorebirds arrive in Australia from places as far north as China, Japan, Russia and Alaska. The survival of these birds rests upon the co-operation of multiple nations along the East Asian Australasian Flyway (EAAF). Australia is a key nation along the EAAF, providing overwintering refuge for shorebirds before their return to the northern hemisphere to breed. In recent years, the sharp decline of migratory shorebirds along the EAAF has shocked conservationists. Migratory shorebirds like the Far Eastern Curlew are now one of the most endangered birds on the planet. Most of the losses appear to be a result of coastal wetland reclamation in China’s Yellow Sea, but what of Australia’s role in the declines? Are our laws good enough? This article asks what Australia is doing through its domestic legislative efforts to ensure migratory shorebird conservation along the EAAF. To narrow the discussion, it evaluates the legal arrangements for shorebird protection through a study of Queensland’s Moreton Bay wetlands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)477-496
Number of pages20
JournalEnvironmental and Planning Law Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


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