All states, in coastal areas.
Eastern Curlews are large wading birds found along coastlines all around Australia. They have flecked brown and tan plumage and very long curved black bill.
Every year this migratory shorebird makes an incredible journey departing Australian shores to breed in Russia and northern-eastern China. While on migration Eastern Curlews face multiple threats including habitat loss, human disturbance, and illegal hunting. In Australia, their feeding grounds and roosting sites are increasingly close to where people are building houses and other infrastructure. This means more people and their pet dogs unintentionally disturbing the birds. Over the last 30 years, Eastern Curlew numbers in Australia have dropped by 80%.
- Coastal development, particularly coastal land reclamation of tidal marshes along the Eastern Curlews’ migratory flyway.
- Loss, fragmentation and degradation of coastal mudflats.
- Disturbance by recreational coastline users, such as beach walkers coming too close or birds being chased by dogs walking off leash.
- Continue support for Eastern Curlew conservation in international flyway agreements.
- Protect key non-breeding habitat in Australia.
- Educate beach users on appropriate behaviour to minimise disturbance to feeding or resting Eastern Curlews.
Protecting threatened species
We will be updating these Threatened Species Action Plan profiles to include:
- projects to support species recovery
- information on their trajectory.
Please check back for updates.
Read our Threatened Species Action Plan 2022-2032.
Further information on this species, including links to conservation planning documents can be found here: Species Profile and Threats database - Eastern Curlew
The key threats and priority actions come from conservation planning documents and the Action Plan for Australian Birds 2020. We have made some adjustments based on new information. It is not a list of all plausible threats and relevant actions, but a subset of each that are high impact and can be feasibly addressed over the life of the Action Plan to improve trajectories for the priority species.