The Far Eastern Curlew Satellite Tracking Project

as of 29 April 1997

About the Project

The Far Eastern Curlew Satellite Project was initiated after discussions held at the 8th Conference of the Japan-Australia Migratory Bird Protection Agreement held in Queensland, Australia, in 1995.

The Far Eastern Curlew (Numenius madagascariensis) is a migratory shorebird which generally inhabits sea and lake shore mud flats, deltas and similar areas, where it forages for crabs and other crustaceans, clam worms and other annelids, molluscs, insects and whatever else it can dig out of the mud with its long, downward-turned bill. Its migration route ranges from its wintering grounds in Australia to its breeding grounds in northern China, Korea and Russia.

Far Eastern Curlew numbers are currently in decline. Consequently, Japan, Russia, China and Australia are conducting a joint survey to determine the migration route and resting sites for this species. The purpose of the survey is to gather basic data to open the way for the establishment of a structure of international cooperative protection for the curlew and its wetland habitat.

The project is funded by the Governments of Australia and Japan and the Japanese telecommunications company NTT is providing additional support for the project. This work is being undertaken by the Wild Bird Society of Japan and the Queensland Wader Study Group with support from the Queensland Department of Environment.

Northward Migration News (Shorebirds)

The researchers report that the two Eastern Curlew who have reached China have remained in the same general areas over the past week. The most northerly bird is on the Zhuang He Coast, 100 km NE of Dalian in Liaoning Province (22 April to 29 April).

The second bird remains in the Qingdao area of Shandong Province (21 April to 28 April). It is difficult to know if it is feeding in Jiazhou Bay or Laoshan Bay.

It is expected that these birds will soon continue on migration to the breeding areas.

For further information, including a map of the route and a description in Japanese, see the Far Eastern Curlew Satellite Tracking Project Web site at "".

Read the next instalment in the continuing saga, the update of 12 June 1997.

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