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An expansion, announced today, to one of South Australia’s newest national parks – Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary National Park—Winaityinaiyti Pangkara – provides important protection for tens of thousands of shorebirds that annually migrate between the 60 kilometres of Adelaide’s northern shoreline and as far as Siberia and Alaska.
Through a private donation, The Nature Conservancy has purchased two land parcels of coastal habitat, which will soon be formally proclaimed part of the national park.
The Bird Sanctuary is a critical part of the East Asian-Australasian Flyway, one of the world’s three great migratory bird flight paths. The addition of the extra habitat to the park will provide further protection to the migratory shorebirds that visit South Australia and strengthen the conservation effort across the global flyway.
Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy in Australia, Dr James Fitzsimons said, “the land’s purchase covers more than 85 hectares of coastal habitat encompassing low dune and coastal shrubland, little of which is currently conserved in South Australia.”
“With at least 52 shorebird species recorded, including 37 migratory summer visitors, the Bird Sanctuary is important on a global scale,” added Dr Fitzsimons. “In fact, around 15,000 shorebirds gather here for up to six months each year before their return journey to East Asian breeding grounds in places like China and Siberia. This includes incredible avian aviators like the Eastern Curlew, Bar-tailed Godwit and Great Knot. The Bird Sanctuary also provides habitat for other significant birds like the Elegant Parrot and Gulf St Vincent Slender-billed Thornbill.”
Helping to launch the extension of the National Park, South Australian Minister for Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Ian Hunter thanked The Nature Conservancy and its donors for their efforts to expand the park.
“This new addition to the national park will enhance the reputation of this important site in the world-wide conservation of migratory shorebirds – thousands of which we know make the journey from the northern hemisphere every year to feed and roost in South Australia,” Minister Hunter said.
“The extra parcels of land will expand the national park area to nearly 3,000 hectares.
“As well as creating a safe haven for shorebirds, the Bird Sanctuary’s extensive and natural wetlands will filter and improve the quality of water entering the Gulf St Vincent and provide opportunities for local and international tourism.”