The Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis) has recently been uplisted to Critically Endangered under Australian Government legislation due to an ongoing decline of the species population on its non-breeding grounds. Declines have been reported from nearly all monitored sites along the coastline of Australia and at some, local extinction is predicted within the next thirty years. In contrast, numbers recorded at two sites in the Darwin region appear to have increased in the same period. Since 1980 numbers at Lee Point have increased by 9% per year (SE = 2%); at East Arm Wharf in Darwin Harbour, the annual population increase was 17% per year (SE = 9%) for the period of 2009-2015. This local increase over time may reflect changes in bird roosting behaviour and an increase in suitable high tide roosting habitat. The consistent use of an artificial site at East Arm Wharf is promising for adaptive management of the species and other shorebirds that are threatened by the effects of habitat loss along coastlines.
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|Published - May 2016