The Far Eastern Curlew Project – Update #3
March 26, 2019
All together now
Our latest report collates data from GPS-tagged Far Eastern Curlew captured and released in Darwin, Northern Territory; Roebuck Bay, Western Australia; and Yallock Creek, Victoria.
We now have 14 operational tags from these three sites, and an additional six tags from Moreton Bay in Queensland. Our future plan is to provide full updates on all of our tagged Curlews across Australia once we automate how we do this so we can quickly report on all birds as they undertake exciting migration movements!
Here is a brief summary of the raw, unfiltered movements of Far Eastern Curlew from the first three aforementioned sites.
FAR EASTERN CURLEWS IN Darwin, Northern Territory
Two Curlews, AMANDA and DAMIEN, are still in Darwin Harbour doing regular movements from East Arm Wharf to mudflats close by (Figures 1a. and 1b.).
One Curlew, GAVIN, has started its northward migration and was last positioned in Japan. It is possible that this bird stopped at Palau on the way to Japan (Figure 2a.).
GAVIN was seen by Shin Sekiguchi at Ose beach, Amami-Oshima Island, Kagoshima, Japan on the 17th March sporting Yellow Leg Flag 03 (Figure 3.). It has travelled a distance of approximately 4,900km!
Figure 3. Far Eastern Curlew, GAVIN, with yellow leg flag 03 sighted in Kagoshima, Japan on 17th March.
Far Eastern Curlews in Broome, Western Australia
One of the curlews from Roebuck Bay, BIRGITA, has started migration and was last positioned in Indonesia, near the Gulf of Boni on South Sulawesi (Figure 4.).
Six of the eight Roebuck Bay Curlew – GRACE, MICHA, ROZ, PRUE, MAUREEN and MILLY – are still on the mudflats near Crab Creek (Figures 5a. – 5f.). In our last report, MILLY was omitted after not receiving signals from the transmitter. It has since come back online.
Last, but not least, is INKA. Note that the tracks for this bird are from 20/2/2019 (when it was tagged) through to 26/2/2019 when it last transmitted (Figure 6.). The battery was still at 100% at this time, so it is possible that the bird has gone out of range of a phone tower so has not had the opportunity to transmit data. Watch this space!
Far eastern Curlews in Koo Wee Rup, Victoria
Incredibly, two Curlew from Victoria – KOO and WEE – have migrated with almost identical tracks (Figures 7a. and 7b.)! These birds were last positioned in China, just a few hundred kilometres south of Shanghai. One Curlew, RUP, is still doing regular movements between Yallock Creek and The Gurdies (Figure 7c.).
Thanks go to the National Environment Science Programme Threatened Species Recovery Hub, Darwin Port, Larrakia Nation and the Larrakia Indigenous People whose land we work on, The Australasian Wader Studies Group, The Victorian Wader Study Group, Wader Quest, Charles Darwin University, the Yawuru People via the offices of Nyamba Buru Yawuru Limited for permission to catch birds on the shores of Roebuck Bay, traditional lands of the Yawuru people, and all the enthusiastic volunteers that put their time into catching and resighting birds.
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The Curlew Project logo designed by John Girdham. Used with permission © 2019.
Photographs of Far Eastern Curlews by Amanda Lilleyman and Shin Sekiguchi. Used with permission © 2019.
Google map images prepared by Amanda Lilleyman. Written by Amanda Lilleyman. Edited and published with permission by Amellia Formby for Wing Threads © 2019.