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Shorebird migration

Migratory shorebirds visit Victoria each summer to feed on invertebrates on the coastal and inland wetlands mudflats. Each year, they travel from their breeding areas in the tundra regions of the Northern Hemisphere and back again along particular routes known as flyways. Along the way, they stop at suitable wetlands to feed and build fat reserves for the next stage of their journey.

The conservation of wetlands which provide suitable habitat for breeding along the migratory route and at their non-breeding summer destinations in Victoria and elsewhere is critical to their survival and requires international cooperation.

International agreements to protect migratory waterbirds and their habitat

Protecting migratory shorebird habitat along flyways is critical to their survival and requires international cooperation.

International agreements aim to protect migratory shorebirds and other migratory waterbird species. Such as:

  • the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA)
  • the China-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA)
  • the Republic of Korea-Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (ROKAMBA)
  • the Convention on Migratory Species
  • the Partnership for the Conservation of Migratory Waterbirds
  • Sustainable Use of their Habitats in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway.

For more information on these agreements visit the Australian Government's Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water website.

Shorebird sites in Victoria

Migratory shorebirds visit Victoria each summer. They feed on invertebrates on the mudflats in coastal and inland wetlands. Some of Victoria's wetlands are especially significant for the conservation of migratory shorebirds. These wetlands are in the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Site Network (EAAFP) and include:

  • Shallow Inlet
  • Corner Inlet
  • Western Port
  • the Western Shoreline of Port Phillip Bay and the Bellarine Peninsula
  • Discovery Bay.

Victoria's Ramsar documentation provides further information on shorebirds in the Corner Inlet and Western Port shorebird sites.

Information on the other 3 of Victoria's internationally recognised shorebird sites

Page last updated: 10/10/23