Celebrate World Shorebird Day and join the global count

World Shorebirds Day
World Shorebird DayA Whimbrel in Pasco County, Florida. Photo by hunter58

World Shorebird Day – an initiative launched a few years ago to raise awareness of shorebirds and the need to conserve them and their habitats – takes place on Thursday September 6.

“About 50 percent of the world’s shorebird species are in decline and their vital habitats are disappearing at a faster rate than ever before,” organizers say. “We urgently need to raise awareness around the world about the plight of these imperiled birds and the need for research and conservation of shorebirds. »

World Shorebird Day is an opportunity to learn more about birds and their life cycle. Additionally, citizen scientists can take action and participate in the global shorebird count.

The countdown runs from September 5 to 11. Participants can count shorebirds anywhere in the world and report their sightings to eBird.

Regular counts carried out by thousands of volunteers and professionals around the world can reveal the distribution, population trends or abundance of any species – fundamental information for assessing their status. Bird monitoring is a key tool for determining whether or not a population of a bird species is declining or increasing and/or requires coordinated conservation efforts. Careful and professional analysis of bird count data has proven essential in the past for establishing priorities for many shorebird species, including the Red Knot.

Shorebird of the Year

Each year, World Shorebird Day organizers name a shorebird species of the year. This year, they chose the Whimbrel, a fairly common species of curlew found on six continents.

As a group, curlews are in decline in many places. In 2017, a study found that the Numenini The tribe of curlews, godwits, whimbrels and redshanks are perhaps the most endangered group of birds in the world. And two of the Whimbrel’s closest relatives – the Eskimo Curlew and the Slender-billed Curlew – have not been seen for decades and are likely extinct. “We must do everything to prevent the extinction of other curlew species,” says Gyorgy Szimuly, a Hungarian bird watcher and conservationist who is responsible for World Shorebird Day.

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Climate change, habitat modification and loss, low productivity and hunting are the main drivers of population collapse. International action plans have been widely implemented to save curlew species and prevent further population loss. The Whimbrel is the only globally distributed species of curlew that inhabits different habitat types during its annual life cycle. World Shorebird Day’s contribution to global conservation efforts is to raise awareness by sharing relevant information about curlew species, research and conservation projects over the next 12 months (and beyond). -of the).

To participate in the Global Shorebird Count, register and learn more here. Read the instructions on how to record your sightings on eBird and share them with World Shorebird Day. — Matt Mendenhall, editor

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