Wednesday 13th Dec, 2017

Darwin Port puts curlews front and centre

Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Services
Photo: US Fish and Wildlife Services

DARWIN Port is looking to develop and expand its operations, but the Port is mindful of the habitat of endangered creatures that call the area home.

One such creature is the Far Eastern curlew (Numenius madagascariensis), a large migratory shorebird. The port has launched a project in partnership with Charles Darwin University to investigate the bird’s ecological needs in Darwin Harbour.

The Port is currently protecting an artificial high-tide roost habitat for several species of migratory shorebirds birds including the Far Eastern curlew, according to a statement from the Port.

“It has been pleasing to observe that this Port-protected habitat is being used by increasing numbers of Far Eastern curlew and Darwin Port is committed to ensuring that suitable high quality habitats continue to be maintained as we further develop and expand the port,” the statement read.

“Given the importance of the harbour’s biodiversity to the residents of Darwin, we are particularly pleased to partner with our local Charles Darwin University and with the Larrakia people on a project that will contribute to strategic planning of a vital resource of which we share stewardship.”

The Department of the Environment and Energy lists the Far Eastern curlew as “critically endangered”.

The bird is Australia’s largest shorebird and it is a “long-haul flyer”. Every year, the bird migrates to Russia and north-east China to breed and arrives back in Australia in August to feed on crabs and molluscs in tidal mudflats.

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