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Curlew Sandpiper at the new shorebird habitat on Ash Island
Curlew Sandpiper at the new shorebird habitat on Ash Island

Newcastle Coal has recently completed a major biodiversity project to restore the migratory shorebird habitat at Ash Island. Construction of the habitat included the restoration of 24 hectares of migratory wader habitat and the installation of an automated flood gate to manage tidal levels.

The tidal wetlands around the Port of Newcastle are home to some of Australia’s most threatened species and communities. The coastal saltmarsh vegetation community and numerous species of migratory wader birds, such as the critically endangered Eastern Curlew and Curlew Sandpiper, are increasingly losing habitat along the Australasian-East Asian Flyway.

More than 6 months of construction work lead to the restoration of migratory shorebird habitat on Ash Island.

The program is already proving to be a success with critically endangered Curlew Sandpiper and Whimbrel seen within two weeks of the construction of the new habitat. This is the first migratory shorebird habitat restoration project of its type and scale conducted in Australia, perhaps the Southern Hemisphere.

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