By Matthew Crawford
Tuesday, 14 May 2013
The Painted Snipe is one of the most threatened birds in Australia. Its numbers are so small, scientists believe there are only 1500 of them left.
In recognition of this, the Federal Government has officially moved the bird from the vulnerable to the endangered list.
The bird is nomadic and survives in wetlands.
BirdLife Australia CEO Paul Sullivan says that wetlands are critical to the species' survival.
"Over the last fifty years important wetlands have been disappearing from our landscape because of inappropriate water management and development," he said.
"The population has nose-dived and this crucial listing will help us to protect remaining wetlands and restore important ailing wetlands to their former glory."
He says there were just eleven Painted Snipe sightings in Australia in a two year period, but 24 sightings of the bird at wetlands near Abbot Point, Bowen, in north east Queensland. The area is the subject of a coal port expansion.
BirdLife Australia says the proposed expansion of the coal terminal at Abbot Point will cause "significant degradation" of the neighbouring Caley Valley Wetlands.
The North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation has prepared an Cumulative Impact Assessment report of Abbot Point. http://www.nqbp.com.au/abbot-point/
Chris Purnell, research officer, BirdLife Australia